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‘Significant’ number of tenancies terminated at Dundalk apartment block due to anti-social behaviour


Halliday Mills.

Halliday Mills.

Halliday Mills.


The number of tenancies that have been terminated at Halliday Mills due to anti-social behaviour is “quite significant”, councillors heard at the Dundalk Joint Policing Committee meeting on Tuesday night

The meeting was addressed by Finbarr Hennessy, National Housing Services Manager, Co-operative Housing Ireland which manages the apartment block at Quay Street, who outlined the steps which had been taken to address problems with anti-social behaviour which had blighted the new development when it opened.

He said that it had been “well publicised” that the development had got off to “a rocky start” and there had been many reports of anti-social behaviour when it first opened.

These reports ranged across the spectrum from loud noise to alleged drug dealing and drug use, and harassment of other residents in the complex.

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"It’s been a long journey” he said of the efforts by the housing agency to address the problems, which were headed by Housing Officer Lar Roddy, and the feeling was that they had turned a corner.

He said that most issues of anti-social behaviour had been resolved with the co-operation and help of the Gardai and County Council.

While it was a continuing line of work, as there will always be issues in any community, they were working with the community in Halliday Mills and there were many positive developments, such as the setting up of a residents committee and events..

Cllr Maeve Yore asked if there had been any evictions and wondered if going forward, a ‘zero tolerance’ approach could be taken. 

Chairperson Cllr Kevin Meenan said that things had quietened down and praised Lar Roddy for the impressive work he had done.

There had been a “big learning curve in how to manage apartment living” but he noted that there’s also been a fair share of issues in other estates, and not just apartments, when there are new families moving in and not getting on.

He believed that there will be a lot more apartment living in future, with more apartments coming on stream beside Ice House Hill and it was key that the council “get this right”.

The way in which  apartments are allocated in the first place is important and he wondered how they let people with “challenging issues” be housed alongside families, saying the housing cooperative had been “dealt a hard hand”.

Cllr Edel Corrigan agreed  saying the vast majority of people living in Halliday Mills were good people who appreciated their homes. A “few bad eggs” shouldn’t be able to negate a good thing. 

She asked if the ban on evictions and the back-up of hearings at the RTB had caused any problems for the cooperative in dealing with anti-social behaviour issues.

Mr Hennessy said that before terminating a tenancy they have to ensure that any taking  they are taking is fair and proportionate.

“It’s not a decision we take lightly.”

"At the moment we have terminating four tenancies which have resulted in us taking property back, another tenancy has been terminated and we are waiting to get the property back,” he said, adding that they were waiting to hear from the RTB regarding another tenancy.

He described the number of tenancies that had been terminated as “quite significant”.

"Are lessons being learned from this? There is lots of learning from every point of view,” he continued. 

Living in apartment blocks and communal living is alien to a lot of people and he felt that they had people who want to live in a three-bedroom semi-d with a front and back garden.

However, the only way they’re going to get through the housing crisis is by higher density living, he said.

Cooperative Housing Ireland is used to dealing with apartment blocks, as they have  a lot of big apartment blocks in Dublin where they would have come across the same issue issues.

“I have never come across an estate where there hasn’t been teething problems. People have to get used to living beside each other.”

He said that the eviction ban hadn’t effected any enforcements for anti-social behaviour although they had suffered greatly because of the huge backlog of RTB hearings.