herald

Monday 5 December 2016

'We're afraid to get up at night', says family terrified by invasion of rats

Barman Noel Sheehan with rat traps in his Drimnagh home
Barman Noel Sheehan with rat traps in his Drimnagh home

A man has slammed Dublin City Council for ignoring his pleas to rid his house of rats, which he believes are putting his family at risk.

Barman Noel Sheehan (45) said he fears for the health of his six-year-old granddaughter Alanna and his daughter Stacey (27), who is seven months' pregnant.

Droppings

Mr Sheehan said he first found rats in his home six months after he moved into the terraced council house on Comeragh Road, Drimnagh, in December 2011.

He discovered rat droppings when he went to get a suitcase from the press under the stairs and found a doll's face eaten away.

Mr Sheehan also found rat droppings in a box full of toys and immediately alerted the council.

An exterminator was sent to the house, but Mr Sheehan said all he did was put down poison, which was ineffective.

"I could hear them scuttering around up in the attic," he said.

He put down traps which killed a few rats, but the problem persisted. He then pulled up the wooden floor in the sitting room following a water leak and discovered a dead rat in a wall.

Sewer

He found a sewer under the floorboards that was not blocked off from the house, as well as another sewer opening underneath the kitchen floor, where he found a dozen dead rats.

Mr Sheehan again alerted the council and an engineer was sent to close off the sewer opening in the kitchen.

The worried granddad said, however, that they never closed off the opening in the sitting room. He then hired a builder to close it off, but still found rat droppings in the kitchen.

"Every time I call they keep passing the buck," he told the Herald.

"They keep saying there's nothing they can do.

"I called the council back yesterday, but I was told they couldn't do any more."

In the meantime, his family is "living a nightmare", said Mr Sheehan, who fears someone will be bitten by a rat or contract Weil's disease.

That is a potentially deadly bacterial infection which can be picked up if a person comes into contact with the blood, urine or tissue of infected rodents.

"We're afraid to go to the toilet at night," said Mr Sheehan.

"My daughter and wife are in bits. They don't want to live here, while my daughter is terrified of getting Weil's."

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said it was unable to comment until later in the week.

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