herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Damp and smell of sewage hitting health of residents of city council-owned flats

Philomena Power
Philomena Power

RESIDENTS in a city council-owned flats complex have complained of cracked ceilings and walls, dampness and foul smells.

At least six families at the council-owned Marrowbone Lane Buildings said their health is being damaged by what one resident described as "degrading" conditions.

Philomena Power (31) said that she contacted Dublin City Council when her apartment began to smell "like rotten eggs and dirty nappies".

The young mum said she would not allow her six-year-old son to sleep in the apartment last week because "the smell had gotten so bad".

SICKNESS

Council workers came out to clear a blocked sewer but it is just one of a series of problems that have arisen at the decades-old flats located in the South Inner City behind the Guinness Brewery.

Ms Power and a number of her neighbours believe the problem is "far worse" than a blocked sewer, claiming that damp has led to cracks in their walls and chronic sickness.

She said that her son has had "six or seven doses of tonsillitis in the last year" and he has also been diagnosed with asthma, which she fears is linked to conditions in the flats.

"This is what I am being told is acceptable to raise a little boy in," she said.

Another resident, Nikita Kelly (28), said that her roof had only just been repaired after it crashed down over the Christmas holidays.

"Four times a year I am replacing duvet covers because the damp is so severe," she said.

Catherine Brien showed the Herald a crack in her wall, which she said had caused flooding, alongside a "horrible smell" in her apartment.

Cracks on the external walls outside Ms Brien's flat extended from the roof right down into the unit below, which had also been reporting damp.

"It's degrading. It's not right," said resident Liz Doyle.

"Unless you're willing to pump an awful lot of your own money to get the apartment really gutted and ripped out then that's it," she said.

"I'm stressed to bits," she said of the conditions in the complex. "It affects all aspects of your life.

"It's an actual battle every morning to get up and make yourself happy for the kids," she said.

Dublin City Council said that any complaints of sewage blockages or smells are "investigated and remediated where necessary".

complaints

The council spokesperson said that it recently responded to complaints of a "smell of sewage" and that the blockage was cleared on February 11.

The council said that any complaints would be inspected and that "the foreman can take other standard remedial action as appropriate".

The council spokesperson also said that "97pc" of maintenance requests which refer to "dampness" are eventually identified as being "due to condensation", created by "cooking, baths and showers".

hnews@herald.ie

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