Sunday 16 December 2018

'I'm paying a mortgage to live beside this' - Young mother outraged at syringes being dumped beside family homes

Photo: Amanda Fennell
Photo: Amanda Fennell
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A young mother with two children has spoken about their horrific experience living beside a vacant house where drug users are dumping needles and heroin kits outside.

Amanda Fennell, from Ardnacassa, Co Longford, has been raising the issue with local authorities and gardai for the past two years.

Ms Fennell, whose two children are aged 13 and 15, has said parents in the area are terrified to let their kids outside.

She says it's at the point where people have stopped complaining as they feel their concerns are "falling on deaf ears".

"There are a lot of kids on this road and they shouldn't be afraid to leave the house," Ms Fennell told

"I've the privilege of paying a mortgage to live beside this. It's unbelievable. I've been fighting against this for two years. The house was boarded up to stop people going in there to use but they continue to gather around outside.

"What happens if a ball goes over the wall one day and the children end up pricking their fingers?"

A local builder boarded up the house two years ago but the anti-social behaviour has continued.

Ms Fennell said the council has started cleaning out the area this week but she believes this "isn't solving the problem."

"It's going to be the same next week and the week after that. It's a health hazard. Why can't they do up the house and give it to a family that needs it."

Used needles, empty condom wrappers and broken bottles can be seen in the photographs taken by the Longford woman.

Local councillor Gerry Warnock also slammed the conditions seen in the estate.

"I’m reliably informed that this particular unit is on the Programme of Works for a refit which is due to commence shortly. This house will be made habitable and allocated to a needy household and that in my opinion is the best security against a continuation of the problems that Amanda has been experiencing for too long," he said.

A spokesperson for Longford County Council said: "The County Council have undertaken a number of special measures to tidy up litter and waste from the public areas in this estate. Derelict Sites and Dangerous Structures legislation are being used to deal with some privately owned properties that are in poor condition in the area. In the event of issues / activities  that may have a criminal aspect Longford County Council liaises with the Gardai."

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