Rats put woman’s health at risk

by Gazette Reporter

Sheepmoor resident Lorraine Sherlock claims that her human rights are being violated by the ongoing rat problem in the area, which is threatening her health and diminishing her quality of life.
The resident, who lives in Sheepmoor Grove, a council estate said that there has been an ongoing problem with rats in the area for a number of months.
She contacted the council and pest control officials from the HSE came out and placed poison in a number of spots around the estate.
She said a number of rats were killed by the poison but many remain. She believes one of the rats ingested the poison and made its way into the house before dying somewhere behind her kitchen wall.
“They’re eating the poison and dying, but they’re coming back. Now, it’s got to the stage where I can’t sleep in my bedroom, the smell is inhuman. Yesterday I noticed my kitchen was full of maggots and flies, and they’re coming out of the wall. There’s a big hole where they [rats] must’ve been getting in and one of them must be dead inside the wall,” she said.
She went on to say that coping with the problem has been made all the more difficult due to her health.
“I’m only finished my treatment for cancer, I’m only out of hospital after a heart attack. It’s getting to the stage now that it’s against my human rights. I was eating food and flies were falling down into my potatoes,” she said.
She said every time she contacts Fingal County Council, she is directed to the HSE and vice versa.
A council spokesperson said that although the house is council-owned, the issue is actually a matter for the pest control section of the HSE.
“Rat/vermin infestation is a public health issue and this should be reported to the pest control section of the HSE. When particular instances are brought to the attention of the council, arrangements will be made to notify pest control,” said the spokesperson.
Cllr Sandra Kavanagh (AAA) who is a Sheepmoor resident said the problem has been ongoing for a number of months and she believes the rat problem is a result of the unsanitary and heavily littered lanes around the estate.
“My aim is to get the lanes cleaned out and get rid of them completely because I feel that the food source is in the lane for the rats.
“I was home early in the summer, and I would never have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes: there was a group of kids chasing a rat down the road in broad daylight,” she said.
The council’s housing estate management section is currently examining the possibility of permanently closing off laneways in Sheepmoor Estate.

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