A KNOCKNAHEENY mother-of-three, who has witnessed a rat infestation take hold of her council-owned home, has pleaded with City Council to be transferred to a new house immediately.
Amanda Feeney, whose children are all aged under eight, has said she will have to leave her home of seven years and leave everything behind despite efforts from City Council and the HSE to tackle hundreds of rats around her house at Killala Gardens.
After Ms Feeney’s story was first reported by the Evening Echo earlier this month, City Hall officials took measures to tackle illegal dumping in the estate that was drawing the vermin and wrote to all local residents informing them they must have a valid waste disposal contract.
The HSE visited Ms Feeney’s home to lay poison on three separate occasions while City Council also dispatched pest control to install traps.
Ms Feeney said she has discovered 10 dead rats in her front and backyard in the last three weeks, but there is still many more roaming the property.
Her neighbour has now also reported an infestation in their attic.
“There are no rats going into the traps and there are still rats out the back,” Ms Feeney said.
“My dad has been cleaning up the dead rats killed by poison using a shovel and gloves and doubling up on a bin liner. I love my home and this is where my kids have been born into but it’s gone to the stage where we can’t even enjoy our home. The summertime will be a nightmare.
“I would walk out the door right now and leave everything behind. I have applied for a transfer but I have heard nothing back yet.
“The dumping has stopped and the City Council has done a good job in clamping down on it. However, the rubbish is gone but the rats are still here and they are just going to feed on other things. They’ve burrowed their way into my neighbour’s attic. It’s only a matter of time before they spread to other houses.
“There was a dead rat out the back the other day and it drew birds in. I looked out the window they were tearing into the rat, eating it, and they dragged it away,” she added.
New bylaws for the collection of household waste are due this year and will see householders quizzed by local authority officials on how they dispose of their waste. If the householder uses a civic amenity site, they will need to keep receipts for at least a year to prove this or face fines of up to €2,500.
Cork City Council’s tenant handbook states that rodent infestations on a council-rented property are the responsibility of the tenant.