herald

Friday 15 December 2017

We begged for a wall on tragic ghost estate

DROWNING: Families' war with council before Liam died

HEARTBROKEN families say they have been "at war" with the council and developers to have a wall built around the ghost estate where tragic Liam Keogh drowned.

The two-year-old died in a pool of water at the unfinished housing estate after he wandered a short distance from his home at Hazelwood, Coosan, Athlone, Co Westmeath, chasing his dog.

Mothers in Rindoon Park in Athlone today told the Herald that the partially built Glenatore Estate was "an accident waiting to happen" and a magnet for local children.

"We've all warned our children about it but they could still get in until Thursday. It took the death of a child for the fences to be fixed and access blocked," said one mother.

"We've been at war with the council and the developer trying to get the wall built around the site. There was a 10ft wall to be built around that site but it never happened," the woman claimed.

"There were four holes in that fencing that the kids could all get through, and when we complained somebody came along and put razor wire on top of it, making it even more dangerous," she added.

Locals say that children used to go on the site to collect tadpoles and light bonfires.

"Something will be done now -- but only because somebody died. A two-and-a-half year old child had to die before our calls would be heeded, and that's a tragedy," said the mum.

She explained how young Liam was very well looked after and didn't play up and down the street.

"He was minded better than gold that poor child. The only time I'd see him was when he would be out being pushed in his buggy by his daddy," the local woman explained.

A spokesperson for Westmeath County Council said that the Glenatore Estate was still in the ownership of the developer.

The Glenatore Estate was developed by Diskin Enterprises, who were not available for comment.

hnews@herald.ie

ENDS

Promoted articles

Entertainment News