'I've seen more than 30 rats in my yard' - gran besieged by rodents
Dublin residents say they are living in fear as hundreds of rats infest their neighbourhood.
Dublin City Council (DCC) confirmed that there has been an increase in rat sightings in the capital, and warned that illegal dumping is attracting the pests.
Locals in Phibsborough believe that dumping and disruptive construction work are to blame for the ongoing problem, and some have claimed they have counted up to 50 rats in their back yards.
Marion Kelly, who lives with her daughter and two-year-old grandson, said she is at her wits’ end.
“The rats are on my flat roof, bringing up food, scratching and squeaking. It’s terrifying,” she told the Herald.
Ms Kelly (58) added that the infestation has become worse since April.
“I’m from the country, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” she added. “I don’t feel safe in my own home.”
Ms Kelly added that she feels she must always have her windows closed, and that she can’t even let her grandson play outside in case he’ll be bitten.
She accompanied her neighbour, Marian O’Brien, as she tried to catch rats in her yard on Sunday night.
“Marian said she saw 50 rats – I saw at least 30,” she said.
The area is close to the Luas Cross City works.
“The council have put a camera in and we have some photographs of people dumping,” she said. “But we need someone to be arrested or apprehended.”
Ms O’Brien and her neighbours have written to several TDs and local representatives, but have had just one response.
While she recognised the work of Dublin City Council (DCC) and the Health Service Executive (HSE), she called for more action to tackle the problem.
“DCC say it’s the HSE, and someone from the HSE did come out but with just two or three traps,” she said.
“I don’t think they really realise the gravity of the situation. It’s a health issue now. I really think DCC have to take that into account,” she added.
“Will it take a child to be bitten to get something done?”
Both Ms Kelly and Ms O’Brien spoke to Joe Duffy on Liveline about the problem.
“I caught 12 rats yesterday. I could have caught more, only ... I gave up emptying the trap because I just was sick of it.
“The amount of rats that came up the dividing wall made me squeamish,” Ms O’Brien said.
“I just had to get in, because I was actually afraid.”
In a statement DCC said a number of measures to help alleviate the problem, with frequent inspections, compliance surveys to ensure households dispose of rubbish responsibly and searches of dumped bags to identify the culprits.