Clondalkin houses on hold over intimidation

by Padraig Conlon
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[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Builders are continuing to refuse to work on a new development of social houses in Clondalkin after weeks of threats and intimidation.

John Sisk Construction, who are doing the work for South Dublin County Council, left the site in St Cuthberts Park this week after workers were threatened, tools stolen and cars broken into.

Security guards employed to protect the site 24 hours a day have reported being attacked by thugs.

Building work, which started four weeks ago, has now been put on hold until the serious security issues are addressed.

The rapid build houses, 61 two and three-bedroom homes, are part of a €14.5m construction package announced in 2017.

Mayor of South Dublin Mark Ward has called for an increased garda presence in the area to combat the anti-social behaviour in St Cuthbert’s Park.

Mayor Ward said: “The anti-social issues in St Cuthbert’s are well documented. They have been going on for quite some time now.

“Open drug dealing, intimidation, stolen cars, scramblers and wanton vandalism are a daily occurrence in the park.

“The increase in anti-social behaviour has escalated to such an extent the work has now stopped on the development of 63 rapid build homes in the park.

“These are homes that are badly needed in the current housing crisis. Workers are the subject of threats and intimidation.

“Their cars have also been vandalised. Tools have been stolen and there have been reports of deliberate arson on the building site.

“It’s a sad day when someone can’t go about their work without feeling frightened in Clondalkin.

“I’m sick to my stomach that this behaviour could jeopardise people on our waiting list getting much needed homes”

“I have called for an early reconvening meeting of the high level task force and want something tangible and real to come from it.

“I am also calling for the Clondalkin gardai to put additional resources into the area so the building can restart and the existing residents can have some peace”

“I was up in St Cuthbert’s last week and it was like a scene out of “The Wire”.

“You could see the drug dealing from the scramblers in broad daylight. This behaviour is going on, on a daily basis with relative impunity.

“This has to stop.”

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny also expressed concerns about the closure of the site.

“Obviously the health and safety of the construction workers is paramount in this instance,” he said.

“Any delay in the completion of much needed social housing in the Clondalkin area is deeply regrettable. Sadly, there have been ongoing issues in relation to St Cuthberts Park.

“It is important to say that preventing workers from going about their jobs is not helpful for the community as a whole.

“I would urge anyone engaged in this behaviour to stop. It is completely counterproductive and as a consequence, workers are in danger of losing their livelihoods and a public housing project is being delayed.”

In a statement Gardai said: “Senior Garda Management is satisfied that an adequate policing service continues to be delivered and that current structures in place meet the requirement to deliver an effective and efficient policing service to the com-munity. This situation is continually reviewed.”

The Council said they had no comment to make.

Sisk Construction hadn’t responded to requests for a comment at the time of going to press.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”td-default”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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