'Rats as big as cats': Illegally dumped rubbish leads to rodent infestation at Cork apartment complex

'Rats as big as cats': Illegally dumped rubbish leads to rodent infestation at Cork apartment complex
Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

RESIDENTS of an apartment complex on the northside of the city have condemned the illegal dumping taking place at the property which has led to a rat infestation.

The dumping of rubbish by a minority of tenants of Glenamoy Lawn in Mayfield has attracted a “plague” of rats which has left some residents “too terrified” to stay in the area.

The complex has an enclosed courtyard which once housed a play area for children but is now overgrown and being used as a dumping ground.

Resident Ann O’Connell was forced to leave her home at 2am on Thursday after a rat was found in the house and is now “too afraid” to go back to her own home.

Speaking about the living conditions in the area, a resident who wished to remain anonymous said: “No wonder we have rats as big as the cats coming into the house with the people here dumping rubbish. It’s only a matter of time before every single flat up here has a rat,” he said.

Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan, who visited the area on Wednesday, counted five dead rats in close proximity to the children’s playground and said that there seems to be “a plague of them”.

Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Resident Sonia Rollston said that she cannot see out her back window because it is so overgrown with nettles and that it was “about two years ago when things got really bad”.

Her sister Louise Rollston said that “the flats are so bad they’re fit to be demolished”. She said that the rats are “multiplying every few weeks” and that “there is Weil’s disease everywhere”.

Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Sarah McCormack, who has been living in the complex for 13 years, works night shifts and has not been able to sleep during the day during the warm weather as she is too afraid to open any of the windows or doors in her ground floor flat.

She said some residents were even asked to stop throwing out bread for the birds because the rats “were practically dining on it”.

“Coming out your front door and seeing a rat pass you is not normal and something has to be done about it now,” she said. Another resident who works for the Health Service Executive (HSE) said she has reported the situation to no avail.

Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

“I’m up here 20 years and we never had this here before. The dirt and filth of the place. The yards will have to be cleaned out.

“You come along here and you see five wheelie bins out but how many flats are there? And where is all the rest of the rubbish going? Out the back. It’s disgraceful,” she said.

Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Kieran Stevens, who has been living in the complex for a year and a half, has put a significant effort into keeping the place right and has been cutting the grass in a vacant house “because when people see high grass they know it’s empty and then it’s a target for vandalism”.

Another resident who wished to be unnamed said: “It’s embarrassing. We don’t want to bring people into our homes, we can’t go out our backs, we can’t hang something out, people can’t even open their windows for fear something would jump in.

Breda Graham request.Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Breda Graham request.Rubbish at Glenamoy Lawn flats, Mayfield, Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

“It’s a handful of people giving the whole place a bad name. When you think of a council place you think of dirt and this is exactly that,” she said.

Resident Ciara Hegarty also noted that none of the flats have been finished properly, saying: “There’s not a straight wall, there’s not a level floor, if you hang a lampshade it comes out of the ceiling and we don’t have fire alarms at the best of times”.

Mother of two, Stephanie Murphy, said she fears for the safety of her children and that she is “constantly looking over her shoulder” due to the “behaviour of some people”.

Councillor Tynan said he “just cannot understand the mindset” of the people who are dumping and said he is “absolutely stunned” by their behaviour.

Cork City Council was contacted for comment.

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