CITY councillors have warned that dumping and hoarding of waste is leading to an influx of rats ‘as big as kittens’ around the city.
However, Cork City Council has said infestations are not within its remit and must be handled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the HSE.
North-central representative Thomas Gould (SF) said more and more people are reporting rat sightings in estates and said he has spoken with the EPA.
“I have lodged a complaint with the EPA over what I consider to be the high level of rat activity in particular. If you go onto Facebook you will see people putting up pictures and videos of different areas where you have rats as big as small kittens. There has been an increase in the number of rats. If we have a serious rat problem across the city, and I don’t know if we do or not, somebody needs to write a report to check.
“I am going by social media and I am seeing these videos of rat activity. A constituent rang me last week about a rat that got into their kitchen. This is serious.”
City south-east councillor Chris O’Leary (SF) said the issue is also prevalent in his constituency.
“There is a large infestation within estates of rats with the heat over the last few weeks and it is driving residents mad. They are seeing them more frequently.
"I know of one tenant of Cork City Council that is storing rubbish in the house and we need to take action. We can’t allow this to go on.
“Why should decent people have to put up with their houses being overrun by rats [because of neighbours]? The pied piper wouldn’t even be able to sort this,” he added.
City Hall director of environmental services Valerie O’Sullivan said: “The issue of rodents is a public health issue. Cork City Council doesn’t have a role except in clearing rubbish where people have committed an offence. We are trying to address the disgraceful behaviour of people dumping in the first place.
“We have contact with the HSE and EPA but we can’t make them come out and act on what we report. They are different agencies,” she added.