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Sunday 22 April 2018

'It was like a dolphin splashing up and down the toilet' - Woman forced to move out due to 'rat infestation'

Marian Hand says all she wants is
Marian Hand says all she wants is "to be able to move back home"

Amy Molloy and Donal Corkery

A woman has been sleeping on her mother's sofa for the past month as she claims her Dublin apartment has been infested with rats.

Marian Hand (55) moved out of her home after she witnessed a "rat trying to climb up" her bathroom toilet.

The mother-of-four lives in Sheridan Place in Dublin city centre and said she has heard "constant scratching" in the walls since her bathroom was recently renovated due to dampness.

Ms Hand invited Independent.ie into her home to show how rat droppings are under her kitchen counter and how all beds and cushions have been completely stripped.

She has laid out rat traps and poison all over the apartment and a HSE member of staff came out to inspect the property on Wednesday.

Ms Hand said she is at her "wits end" because she claims her calls for the apartment to be fumigated have gone unanswered.

She has lived there for eleven years and said only for her 88-year-old mother, who suffers from dementia, she would "have nowhere to go".

"I was sitting at my table having my breakfast and next thing I heard a big splash, like a dolphin coming up and down the toilet, and I was like what’s that. I knew it was coming from the bathroom so inched over to the toilet pot and I seen this big black thing trying to get out and I screamed and ran out the door to my neighbour," Marian told Independent.ie.

"Since then I’ve been in my mother’s because of the problem and because I’m scared. The bathroom was being renovated because of dampness that’s been there the last few years.

"They said there was a nest in the back of the toilet and that’s why they’re all coming through the sewers. There was droppings on the bathroom floor and in the kitchen and it really upsets me, it upsets me very much. I just want to come home."

Marian's 21-year-old son, who also lives with her, has been unable to let his one-year-old daughter come stay at the apartment as she doesn't feel it's safe with "rats running around".

"It's horrible not being able to come home. I've been living out of a bag for the last month. I've been hearing this constant scratching in the walls and it was impossible to sleep at night.

"I suffer with my health as well and this is the last thing I need, especially with it coming up to Christmas. All I want is for the problem to be solved."

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said: "Dublin City Council recently received a complaint in relation to rats concerning an address in Sheridan Place.  Issues concerning individual properties are the responsibility of HSE Pest Control who were duly notified of the matter.

"A complaint about the communal areas of Sheridan Place was received on 26th October. This is the responsibility of Dublin City Council who are responding to the issue."

Independent.ie has contacted the HSE for comment.

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