Families on housing estate left in terror by rats 'the size of dogs'
Residents of a Dublin housing estate have expressed concern for their health and safety as rats "the size of Chihuahuas" continue to swarm outside their homes and back gardens.
It comes as Cork residents were warned to be wary of rodents after an elderly man was bitten by a rat while using the toilet.
Locals in Kilcronan Court estate in Clondalkin say the estate has been overrun with large rats for nearly a month.
Residents are growing increasingly frustrated at the slow response to the problem. The estate is managed by the housing agency Cooperative Housing Ireland.
Local woman Marianne Maughan said she had seen a rodent the "size of a Chihuahua dog" in the estate during the day.
"One of the residents has caught 25 of them in her garden and there was up to 60 swarming around a bin near some apartments recently," she said.
Families in the estate are concerned about the health and safety of their children due to the ongoing problem.
"We have kids out on the street playing and we are terrified that they will be bitten and contract a disease," Ms Maughan said.
Earlier this year, there were reports rubbish had accumulated at a childcare facility on the estate. However, the housing agency has now removed this.
Ms Maughan said that she did not think that was the source of the problem but that it had just added to it.
Angry residents spoke with the 98fm 'Dublin Talks' show to highlight their concern yesterday.
A spokesman for Cooperative Housing Ireland said that it had contacted the local authority and HSE in relation to the rats and placed mechanical traps in the area.
"As a result of the escalation of the issue, independent contractors have been appointed to advise on the best course of action. We will carry out whatever actions are suggested," he said.
The agency has also asked for help from locals to tackle the issue of ongoing waste in the area.
"Illegal dumping is a serious and ongoing issue in the local area that exacerbates the problem. The co-operation of the local community in identifying those responsible for dumping would assist in managing this challenge," he said.
Meanwhile, in Cork an elderly man was bitten as he used a toilet and had to be rushed to hospital, according to a councillor.
"I would advise homeowners to keep their toilet seats down when not in use, and to watch their posteriors," Cllr Noel Collins said.
He asked the council to consider flushing rat poison through the sewerage system to tackle the problem.