Residents in fear as rats 'the size of a small dog' take over estate
Residents in a housing estate in Dublin have said that they are living in fear due to a rat infestation.
The Kilcronan Court estate in Clondalkin has been overrun with large rats for around a month.
The estate, which is run by the housing agency Cooperative Housing Ireland, has seen the rodent problem spike over the past number of weeks.
"Last week my husband and I saw a rat fighting a blackbird in the middle of the street - it was a size of a Chihuahua dog, I'm not exaggerating," local Marianne Maughan said.
"One of the residents has caught 25 of them in her garden and there was up to 60 swarming around a bin near some apartments recently."
Families in the estate are concerned about the safety of their children.
"We have kids out on the street playing and we are terrified that they will be bitten and contract a disease," Ms Maughan said.
Earlier this year rubbish had accumulated at a childcare facility on the estate, which the housing agency has now removed.
However, Ms Maughan said that she doesn't think that was the source of the problem but that it added to it.
Angry residents yesterday spoke with the 98fm Dublin Talks show to highlight their concern.
A spokesman for Cooperative Housing Ireland said it had contacted the local authority and HSE in relation to the rats and placed mechanical traps in the area.
"Independent contractors have been appointed to advise on the best of course of action.
"We will carry out whatever actions are suggested," he said.
The agency has also asked for help from locals to tackle the issue of ongoing dumping in the area.
"Illegal dumping is a serious and ongoing issue in the local area that exacerbates the problem.
"Our local office regularly removes illegally-dumped waste.
"We also inspect the waste in order to try to identify the perpetrators.
"The co-operation of the local community in identifying those responsible for dumping would assist in managing this challenge."
Meanwhile, in Cork an elderly man was bitten on his behind by a rat as he used his toilet, sparking a warning to residents to take care when using the toilet during the floods.