independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Video: Sisters turn to net for help getting out of The Hole

TWO young sisters are begging a developer to fill in a huge crater that has blighted their estate for the past five years.

The young girls, from Oranmore, Co Galway, have taken to the internet to highlight their plight.

Blythe Stewart (11) and her seven-year-old sister Fern made the video in the hopes that the crater might at last be filled in.

"It's a nice place to live with nice houses and nice greens to play on, but there is just one big ginormous problem – the hole," say the sisters.

Speaking about her decision to make the video, which appears on YouTube, Blythe, a fifth-class student at Kilcolgan Educate Together primary school, said they just want the hole to go away.

"We just wanted to make a video because nothing was being done about the hole. We'd just like them to fill it up. We would like a shop there but I don't think that will happen, so we just want to see it filled up with grass on top," she said.

Residents of Oranhill housing estate have fought for the past five years to have the crater dealt with and the safety issues addressed.

The hole was excavated in early 2007 when a retail development was to be put in place to include a creche, doctor's surgery and shop.

However, works on the site ceased towards the end of that year and the crater has been there ever since. Galway County Council has written repeatedly to one of the named developers of the site, Ronnie Greene, highlighting safety issues. Queries to Mr Greene went unanswered yesterday.

Jill Holtz said her daughters wanted to highlight the problems they faced on a daily basis.

"Nothing is being done at the site and the council say they can only enforce minimal safety works.

"We know we're not the only estate facing this problem but there seems to be no official body to deal with these matters.

"It's a real worry for residents because there are loads of kids around," she said.

A planning extension for the development was awarded to the developers in May 2011, but attempts by residents to make contact with the developer has led to nothing.

Irish Independent

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