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Credit: Picture John Tarrant

Credit: Picture John Tarrant

Credit: Picture John Tarrant

RESIDENTS in Millstreet who do not want to spend another winter in the "freezing cold" want Cork County Council to prioritise their houses for insulation rather than upgrading vacant houses.

Marie Murphy moved into her house at the Old Coach Avenue in January 2006 and for the last six years she has been putting down two open fires every day as well as using electric heaters and blankets and hot water bottles to stave off the cold.

"I really don't want to think of all the money I've spent over the past six years on coal and my electricity bill. There are residents in this estate who are elderly and who have very young children. It is no way to live being in a house that is constantly cold," said Marie.

She said if the open fires die down any bit it means the house becomes cold very fast.

She said the houses are not insulated properly, though were only built in 2005.

She has even changed her front door to keep the draft out but to no avail.

"All of the residents have noticed the breeze that comes in the doors and in the windows as well as the condensation," she said.

She also said there is a back toilet just off the kitchen that has no heating at all and is now very damp.

There are 22 houses in the estate and residents have made numerous representations to CCC to fix this problem.

Recently, residents became aware that vacant houses are being upgraded with insulation and having their doors fixed, while the occupied houses are not having any such upgrading.

At Monday's council meeting in Cork, Cllr Noel Buckley (FG) raised the motion that CCC seek funding from the Dept of the Environment so that the houses at Old Coach Avenue, as well as Drishane View, be made "draught free" before winter.

He said: "The standard of building at the Old Coach Avenue really leaves a lot to be desired. We have been making representations now for years about this.

"The windows are ill fitted, there is wind coming through from the attics. These houses are just 8-10 years old."

"One woman has to have two fires down during the winter but her house is still cold. Her daughter when upstairs has to wear an overcoat when she is studying."

Cllr Gerard Murphy (FG) added that this motion has been raised repeatedly.

County Manager Martin Riordan said lack of resources was the problem. However, he did say that he would look into the matter.