Families fear their estate may be a cancer cluster

Jane Last

RESIDENTS of a Dublin suburb want the HSE to carry out an "urgent" investigation into claims of a cancer cluster.

Concerns have been raised that a quiet residential estate is suffering from an abnormal number of cancer cases.

Thomas McDermott, who lives with his cancer-diagnosed grandmother in Clondalkin, told the Herald that residents have genuine fears for their health.

"There are six families very close to each other that have been touched by cancer. You can't tell me that doesn't sound strange. I am determined to highlight this issue with the HSE because lives are at risk in my opinion," he said.

"A neighbour of mine recently died from cancer. My grandmother has it. We're very worried about the serious effects of living beside pylons," he added.

People Before Profit councillor Gino Kenny said he is "very concerned" after being contacted by residents of Lindisfarne Grove in Clondalkin.

Cllr Kenny has been campaigning for three years to have a mast attached to Ronanstown Garda Station removed after locals claimed it was responsible for a spate of illnesses.

But he now claims that residents in a different part of Clondalkin -- Lindisfarne Grove -- are fearful for their health.

"These are genuine concerns and they need to be thoroughly investigated by the HSE," he said. "Residents have been in contact with me about it and they are very concerned. Cancer has affected people in a number of homes in the estate and we need to get to the bottom of it.


"Some residents are already carrying out their own research in the area and I believe this will prove very significant."

Dublin West TD Derek Keating told the Herald that he intends to raise the concerns when the Dail resumes on September 13.

"What we need is detailed scientific evidence to back up any concerns. And we just don't have that at the moment," he said. "But it is important that we give these concerns serious consideration."

The Herald revealed earlier this month that residents in Santry, North Co Dublin, also had serious concerns about cancer rates.

It emerged that almost a sixth of residents living in the vicinity of Oak Park had contracted cancer in recent years.

The National Cancer Registry of Ireland has analysed statistics for the general area around the Santry estates and found that while cancer incidence based on overall rates for Dublin was "somewhat higher than expected", the results were "not statistically significant".