'One of the lads killed it with an axe' - Dublin housing estate infested with rats 'as big as cats'
A pest control company has been drafted in to a Clondalkin housing estate to deal with an infestation of rats described as being "the size of Chihuahuas".
Locals in Kilcronan Court estate say the estate has been overrun with large rats for nearly a month.
On Monday locals succeeded in killing one of the monster rodents and displayed photos of it on social media to highlight the problem.
Now the housing agency Cooperative Housing Ireland has sent Rentokill into the street to sort out the problem.
This morning a pest control expert from the company laid four bait boxes in the back garden of one house.
The company has also been given the task of finding the source of the rat infestation and will be working in the area over the coming weeks and days.
“We first reported the problem around six weeks ago but it really came to a head on Monday when we were chasing one giant rat and it hid in a services box in the wall of a neighbouring house,” Lisa Kinsella Colman told Independent.ie.
“But then we turned around and saw another one on the wall and one of the lads killed it with an axe. It was as big as my cat.
“We’re happy to see Rentokill out here now because the problem might finally get sorted. There’s four bait boxes in my garden now. We used to be out in the garden when the weather is good but not now. We’re afraid to go out since this happened,” she added.
Neighbour Marianne Maughan said she had seen a rodent the "size of a Chihuahua dog" in the estate.
"One of the residents has seen 25 of them in her garden and there was up to 60 swarming around a bin near some apartments recently," she said.
Today she said that while she is happy to see pest control experts on the street it might be too little too late.
“They should have been called weeks ago when the problem was reported to the housing agency,” she said.
"We have kids out on the street playing and we are terrified that they will be bitten and contract a disease," Ms Maughan added.
Another resident, Jade McGann, said she had slept in a friend's house last night because she was scared when she saw the photograph of the rat that was caught on Monday.
"I couldn't deal with it. I was sleeping in my room on Monday night with the dog beside me I was so scared," she said.
"I hate rats. I have a phobia about them. I hop I don't see one," she added.
A spokesman for Cooperative Housing Ireland said it was contacted in early March in relation to the accumulation of waste at a childcare facility operated by another organisation within Kilcronan Court and separately at a neighbouring residence outside its control.
“Our local office contacted the childcare facility requesting them to remove the waste and also contacted the environmental health team of the local authority in relation to the other house’” he said.
“Later in March we were contacted to advise that the waste in the childcare facility had not been removed and that an issue had arisen in relation to rats. Acting on this report, we arranged a skip for 6th April and removed the waste ourselves. There has been no accumulation of waste at this location since. We also contacted the local authority and HSE in relation to the rats and placed mechanical traps in the area,” he added.
“As a result of the escalation of the issue, independent contractors have been appointed to advise on the best of course of action. We will carry out whatever actions are suggested,” he concluded.
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.