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Friday 22 September 2017

Councillor urges cleaning up of crack den near Bono's home

Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

This is the squalid crack cocaine den on our rock stars' doorsteps.

A stone's throw from rock star mansions, addicts have been getting stoned in the disused building on Killiney beach in south Dublin.

It is near Bono's family home on the slopes of Killiney Hill – an area known as the "gold coast", arguably the country's most exclusive residential area.

Enya's castle is only a few hundred metres away.

And Van Morrison owns a mansion on nearby Sorrento Road.

The old beachfront tea rooms, which closed decades ago, have become a hideout for homeless addicts.

A crack den at the site of former cafe on Killiney Strand, near the home of U2 star Bono. Photo: Tony Gavin
A crack den at the site of former cafe on Killiney Strand, near the home of U2 star Bono. Photo: Tony Gavin
A crack den at the site of former cafe on Killiney Strand. Photo: Tony Gavin
Crack house in Killiney. Photo: Tony Gavin
Bono
Councillor Victor Boyhan

Last week there were sleeping bags stuffed into alcoves and the entire building and its surroundings was covered in drink cans, broken bottles and drugs paraphernalia.

Almost the entire building is covered in graffiti, including references to death and addiction. A morbid poem entitled Grief, about drugs and death, has been stencilled on the front of the building.

The poem includes the lines "Kill the pain, numb the brain" and "A death in darkness and death in light..."

Among the squalor inside the building is clear signs of crack cocaine use. The addicts puncture the side of beer cans then push a tube, usually an empty biro pen, in.

They then heat up the drug with a cigarette lighter until it ignites and they get their 'hit'. There were dozens of punctured and burnt beer cans scattered throughout the building last week.

Local people have complained about activities of the drug users and Independent Councillor Victor Boyhan has called on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council to secure and "sterilise" the site.

He said: "As result of complaints from local residents and beach users, I visited the location at the weekend to view at first-hand the condition of the site.

"The site is hazardous, dirty and derelict. On inspection last week, it was covered in used condoms, used needles, broken glass and beer cans. The site is now in an advanced state of dilapidation; the security fencing has been pulled down.

"There is clear evidence that the site is frequented by drug addicts who leave needles after them.

"In the interest of public health and safety this site needs to be sterilised and secured immediately.

"Local people tell me that the old tea rooms have become a popular drinking spot for teenagers who climb drunk on to the roof most weekend nights – an accident waiting to happen.

"I have formally requested that council officials investigate the matter with a view to entering the site on the derelict sites register and to take appropriate action against the registered owners."

The buildings were sold at auction in 2001 to businessman Declan O'Regan, who sold on 75 per cent of the property to fellow businessman Kieran Tarbett and Dun Laoghaire architect Ross Cahill O'Brien, according to planning applications in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council.

A number of planning applications have been lodged dating from 2003 for a boutique hotel, chalets, dwelling houses and car parking.

The last of the applications, lodged in 2009, was for a €5m, 30-guest room hotel, two dwellings, roof terrace and a boat-hire facility.

Mr Cahill O'Brien said the intention was to develop tall, narrow buildings "particularly in line with the spirit of the Killiney area, where the houses and the roads borrow names from Italian places; Tivoli Road and Sorrento Terrace are part of the fabric of the place."

He could not be contacted last week.

The main building was gutted by fire in 2004 and has been derelict since. Mesh barriers were put around it but these were breached and the site is open to the addicts.

Sunday Independent

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