Home » Breaking News » Call to step up action against ‘neighbours from Hell’ in Ennis
“An Garda Siochána are always called. They will do a drive-by but by the time they arrive, the tenants have already gone back inside the house," the resident claimed.

Call to step up action against ‘neighbours from Hell’ in Ennis

CLARE County Council is coming under pressure to lead a multi-agency approach to tackle persistent anti-social behaviour after Ennis residents outlined their experiences of “neighbours from hell” for almost seven years.

Councillor Johnny Flynn, Ennis Mayor, Clare Colleran-Molloy and Councillor Mary Howard have called for a multi-agency approach involving the council, Tusla, Clare Gardai, councillors, and residents to evict local authority tenants who are causing havoc in estates.

Their call came after hearing a litany of complaints from frustrated residents who claimed they were “living in fear” and were “prisoners in their own homes” at a residents’ meeting on Monday night, which was also attended by Councillor Paul Murphy and Councillor Mark Nestor.

One resident in the affected Ennis estate described Family A as the “neighbours from hell”.

She has asked to remain anonymous and for the estate to remain unnamed due to residents’ fear of a reprisal.

“We are living in fear. There is intimidation, verbal abuse and physical abuse. They don’t care about whether it is day or night when they have a row. I was woken one night last week at 12.30pm. All rows gravitate to their driveway. One of them will get locked out. This person will start blowing a car horn, banging on the door and windows. It is never ending.”

In an interview with The Clare Champion, the resident recalled her first emailed complaint to the environment section was back in 2020. She said prior to this other residents were going into the council with complaints about Family A for at least five years.

Residents have engaged with the tenancy enforcement unit this Tuesday.

Councillor Flynn pointed out the three tenancy enforcement officers have been very successful in carrying out regular routine and response calls to tenants to manage and mitigate against complaints of antisocial behaviour.

This service had 505 calls in May alone, and a year total of 2,902 by the end of May.

He said their great work in estate management, particularly over Covid and since the reopening needs to be supported by multi agency response which would deal solely with the very small number of the worst persistent offenders – the so-called “neighbours from hell”.

Mayor of Ennis, Clare Colleran-Molloy said there is a gap between the shocking revelations from residents concerning allegations about intimidation, verbal assaults, domestic disturbances that spill out on to the street in the early morning and night and council officials, who stated they couldn’t substantiate these claims, which have left residents stunned.

The resident stated: “The council couldn’t find our complaints when we started making more complaints. Following the intervention of Councillor Mary Howard, it was discovered the council had no file with the relevant complaints. One of our residents was told the council lost the file about two and a half years ago.

“Complaints have been made by a number of households but I don’t think the tenancy enforcement unit were being provided with all the information in all our complaints.”

She said when Family A are questioned by council officials they will deny any of the alleged incidents, which has resulted in the assertion from the council that residents’ complaints are unsubstantiated.

Residents decided they couldn’t tolerate the alleged anti-social behaviour any longer after the June Bank Holiday “debacle” when they claimed the whole neighbourhood was woken up by Family A at 6.45am on Monday morning.

It has been alleged that a child was knocked unconscious during this row in a driveway and had to be lifted into a dwelling.

She said elderly residents in their seventies and eighties were afraid to come out of their own homes as a result of the constant anti-social behaviour.

“One man told the meeting he feels like a ‘prisoner in his own home’. That is not right.

“The adults taunt residents and their children taunt our children. The physical violence, anti-social behaviour and verbal abuse towards their children and each other has gone on for years.”

Family A includes two parents and eight children.

In an email sent to councillors, the resident said, “Residents of our estate have been subjected to horrendous anti-social behaviour, the likes of which I personally have never witnessed in my lifetime for the past seven years.

“The council housed a family in our estate in 2015 and immediately it was evident that they were going to be problematic.

“Many of us have complained to the housing, environmental and the anti-social behaviour sections of the Council and while some of our complaints are acknowledged and confirmation given that the issue will be dealt with, the council haven’t come up with any solutions to deal with the issues.

“Since the tenants moved in, we have experienced shouting and roaring not just during the day time but honestly at any time of the day and night.

“While the adult tenants are having an argument the roaring is so loud that it can be heard 100 metres away.

“We have been woken up many nights as the arguments always gravitate to the driveway of the house, along with the shouting.

“Inevitably one of them will be locked out of the house so they then think it’s OK to get into their car and honk the horn for long periods of time until the other party allows them back into the house all the while shouting abuse at each other.

“The windows, doors and car will also be hammered on during these altercations, using anything they can find including golf clubs. Car windows and mirrors have been smashed. We have also witnessed physical abuse during these episodes.

“An Garda Siochána are always called. They will do a drive-by but by the time they arrive, the tenants have already gone back inside the house,” she claimed.

In response to Clare Champion queries, Clare County Council issued the following statement, “With regard to the alleged complaints hereunder Clare County Council cannot comment on specific cases from a GDPR perspective.

“Clare County Council has a duty to manage and control dwellings let under the Housing Acts, with a view to securing and protecting the interests of tenants and their families in the peaceful occupation of their homes.

“In accordance with our Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy, Clare County Council is committed to the preservation of the peaceful occupation of all dwellings for which it is responsible and will not tolerate anti-social behaviour.

“Any matters that need to be brought to the attention of the Estate Management unit can be done so by emailing asb@clarecoco.ie. The working hours of the TEO team are flexible to meet required need, involving working after hours and weekends as the need dictates. The team can be contacted out of office hours, should the need arise, by contacting the Council emergency phone number.”

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