Residents worried at surge in rat numbers

by Ian Begley

A large number of residents in Palmerstown and Clondalkin have been complaining about a surge of rats appearing in their estates due to illegal dumping.

Local election candidates from these areas said they have noticed many people bringing up rat infestation cases which are caused by people dumping their rubbish illegally.

Labour candidate Ken Kinsella from Clondalkin said: “I’ve been out on the doors over the last few months and it is incredible how many times residents have brought up the issue of rats and illegal dumping.

“There appears to have been a large increase in both the numbers of rats in the area recently, being caused by illegal dumping and some residents using their back gardens as makeshift landfills in order to avoid paying bin charges.

“Rubbish being dumped in lane ways is also a major cause of rat infestation, and we need to see more action from the council to tackle and prosecute those who are doing it. We’ve got a serious public health problem on our hands and the council needs to act immediately,” said Kinsella.

Local candidate for Lucan Danny O’Brien (SF) said that many residents in Palmerstown are bringing up rat infestation problems caused by illegal dumping in several of the laneways located within the estates.

He said: “We have been contacted by lots of people about this issue and we’ve been in touch with the council.

“Every now and again they would clean up the lanes, but over a period of time they go back to the way they were. Some people want the lanes blocked off and some people want them left open so there’s not really a quick fix for this.

“A lot of this illegal dumping has started since the bin waivers were taken away because people don’t have the money to pay for their bin charge, and that’s why a lot of illegal dumping is happening all over South County Dublin.

“There needs to be cameras installed around the place and more of an effort in trying to catch people responsible for illegal dumping because at the moment it is very hard to catch them,” said O’Brien.

One resident from Palmerstown described the rat problem and illegal dumping activity within her estate as “atrocious”.

She said: “We have an awful lot of rats around here, which is a major health issue and very frightening. I had a sewer rat the size of a hare on my patio and next door our neighbours found a rat dead in their front garden.

“The litter in the lanes is atrocious. There are bags and bags of household rubbish there because people are not paying for their bin charge and decide to throw their waste there instead,” she said.

The council did not respond to a request for comment at the time of going to print.

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