Residents in Tredagh View in Drogheda are being “passed like yoyos” between Louth County Council and Irish Water, with neither body taking responsibility for the infestation that is plaguing the estate a stone’s throw from the town centre.
Locals in the estate have been speaking this week about the ongoing issue, after the matter was raised last Monday during the July meeting of the Drogheda Borough Council. The issue of infestation was raised by a number of councillors, including Independent councillor Paddy McQuillan and Sinn Féin’s Joanna Byrne but they noted the issue in the Rathmullan and Ballsgrove areas, as opposed to nearby Tredagh View.
In a statement, Cllr Byrne says that some residents in Tredagh View have told her rats have been an issue for a decade but it is only since February that the problem has escalated.
“The estate has a major rodent infestation with rats casually coming up the drains in broad daylight, walking along the streets, burrowing in residents’ back gardens without a care in the world,” she said. “Some residents told me this has been an issue for over 10 years but has escalated very noticeably since February.”
Photographs and videos of rats running around the estate during daytime hours have been widely circulated.
Residents “have been passed like yoyos between the Council and Irish Water with no solution from either,” Cllr Byrne continues. “Rentokil confirmed to residents during a site inspection this week that the holes burrowed in the public drains would suggest the issue is with the public system.
“Both Irish Water and Louth County Council have a part to play in resolving this. They should be ashamed of themselves that this has been allowed to continue for so long. Parents are fearful of allowing their children out to play; residents can’t leave their windows open; one resident had a rat in her car in her driveway a number of weeks ago so even walking from your front door can be an ordeal.
The Yellowbatter-based representative said”: “I’ve never seen anything so bad in my years on the council, I am horrified. This has to be tackled as matter of urgency.” She has urged the local authority to take personal ownership of the situation and put together a collective taskforce, comprising of both their operations and water services department and Irish Water.
“We have a whole estate of people living in fear and being ignored is unacceptable and I will be pursuing this at full throttle until it is resolved and these residents can have some peace of mind,” she concluded.”
Speaking to Newstalk on Thursday, one resident described the ordeal she and her family is living through. “It’s just ridiculous now at this stage, we can’t let our children out to play,” said Jenny Fagan. “They’re coming up the front drains in front of our houses in the middle of the day. We’ve a little green area in the cul-de-sac, they’re running across that.
“They’re so big, they’re like the size of a shovel. One resident caught one at the side of her house and she put it on a coal shovel, and it was literally the size of it – and the size of its feet as well. They’re running up and down the walls at the front of the houses and… we’ve a little balcony at the front of our house, and they’re running across that between the two houses.”