A local councillor has reiterated her calls for a taskforce to be set up comprising of stakeholders from a range of authorites to help eliminate the issue of rat infestations in Tredagh View, but also throughout the county.
Sinn Féin’s Joanna Byrne told the July meeting of Louth County Council that it was time to get serious about rodents not only in private and social housing areas, but also in public lands and drains throughout county Louth. The representative visited Tredagh View last week to meet with residents who expressed their concerns over the infestation.
Photographs and videos of rats running around the estate during daytime hours were widely circulated online last week.
She said that following on from that visit it has emerged that this issue is evolving and escalating throughout the County in many public lands and drains.
“This isn’t just in Drogheda. It’s becoming a countywide issue. Somebody needs to take ownership of this issue,” she said. “People are left yoyoing between Irish Water, Louth County Council, HSE and pest control companies, with nobody willing or wanting to take responsibility.
“I think the solution is, as I’ve previously asked for, a multi-agency taskforce focusing on working together collectively when necessary to eliminate issues like Tredagh View that arise and not allow them to fester and grow.”
She asked for taskforce to be set up, similar to the Moneymore Inter-Agency Committee.
In response, Chief Executive Joan Martin said she would not commit to creating a taskforce but noted she would discuss the issue with the management team at the local authority.
“I wouldn’t compare the issue of rats, as bad as it might be, with the issues dealt with by the taskforce set up in Drogheda dealing with drugs and the feud,” she said.
“By no means am I comparing the issue with that of drugs and the feud,” Cllr Byrne replied.
The Yellowbatter-based representative, speaking after the meeting, was happy with the outcome. “The response from the Chief Executive on this issue today was very positive, to get that commitment from her to personally review any ongoing issue is always a good thing and I look forward to her response.
“I still think a taskforce is necessary here but I am willing to work with the Council on this. The comments and undertaking by Ms Martin today gives assurances to the residents and people who are enduring such horrendous battles with rats that their issues are being taken seriously and that there is hope in finding solutions.”
Independent councillor Maeve Yore noted that rats were an issue in areas in Dundalk also.