Irish News

Friday 25 July 2014

Children dice with death abseiling from derelict flats

Alan O'Keeffe

Published 27/05/2014|02:30

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Children abseiling in Ballymun
Children abseiling in Ballymun
Children abseiling in Ballymun
Children abseiling in Ballymun
Children abseiling in Ballymun
Children abseiling in Ballymun

Video footage of children abseiling down the outside of a seven-storey building has prompted Dublin City Council to seek help from gardai to prevent the dangerous activity.

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Residents in Ballymun were shocked to see YouTube videos of children dangling from a rope high above the ground at empty council flats at Balbutcher Lane.

Council workers moved onto the site yesterday and removed a long rope which was used by the unsupervised children to swing from a sixth-storey window and lower themselves to the ground far below.

Workers also took action to make entry to the buildings more difficult. Three of the children who appeared in the video regularly play at the property.

Around seven youngsters aged between 11 and 16 were involved in the dangerous practice of abseiling without any safety equipment.

They had knotted a long rope round a door on the sixth floor and abseiled out a window to the ground below.

The grandfather of one of the children involved said yesterday: "It's a disgrace. They shouldn't have been doing it."

Local people said they were appalled and demanded the council take more effective action to deter children from roaming around the abandoned flats complex.

A low fence along the roadway in front of the building is easily scaled by local children on a regular basis.

A 40-year-old mother of three said: "The council must block off the place properly. A very bad accident is waiting to happen. It was terrifying to see the children in that video."

A Dublin City Council spokesman confirmed the council is responsible for the seven-storey property which is next door to the last remaining empty tower block.

The spokesman said: "The property is not occupied and has been boarded up in advance of demolition. A perimeter fence surrounds the property.

"Dublin City Council became aware of the incident on May 25. We immediately contacted the gardai who have undertaken to patrol the area.

"The community policing unit have also been informed and will undertake patrols and raise the issue with community leaders.

"Dublin City Council is also making arrangements for further security measures to be put in place."

Irish Independent

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