‘Boarded houses are magnets for disaster’

Carew Park residents win battle but are losing the war

CAREW PARK residents acted swiftly this week to have rubbish removed from a derelict property- but are struggling to stop the City Council boarding up houses in the estate. Locals, who invited the Limerick Post to a meeting with city council housing officer Anne Cahill, remain furious that their estate has fallen into disrepair.

Martina Hartigan of 159 Lane Way, said, “These boarded houses are magnets for antisocial behaviour”.

Patricia Boylan, community officer, is frustrated by the number of houses being boarded up. “It is giving the impression that Carew and Kincora is now going to be let go the same way as other areas”.

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Of the 12 houses boarded up, five are seriously damaged, but the other seven require minor work to be re-let.

She argues that potential tenants should be screened and ready to occupy available houses to ensure a steady flow of re-letting and eradicate derelict properties.

Catherine Kennedy of Carew Park, cannot understand the present policy, “It costs euro 2,000 to board a house, money which could be used on repairs, rather than making it an attractive location to drink and take drugs”.

A prime example of what is happening in the estate is 160 Lane Way, which was boarded up four weeks ago.

Margaret Galvin, who lives next door, explained: “Within a few days of being boarded up they were trying to get into the house using a crow bar, only for us going out to stop them, and our houses were egged the following night”

Martina Hartigan is concerned about the affect this empty house is having on her son, who has special needs, “He goes out there to play on the green and I’m afraid he could pick up a syringe and he wouldn’t know, and even if any doctor or speech therapist calls up it’s embarrassing having this eyesore next door”.

There was a large amount of rubbish at the back of the house which, neighbours say, was attracting rats, flies and emitting a toxic stench.

After making an official complaint to City Hall regarding the rubbish, residents were informed that funds were not available to remove the rubbish.

They organised a meeting on Tuesday morning with the intention of approaching housing officer Anne Cahill, with their concerns.

Gabriel Hartigan, a Lane Way resident, invited the Limerick Post to attend this meeting, at which it was revealed the rubbish would be removed immediately and the house would be re-let in the coming weeks.

Many felt that without the media presence, this would not have been the case.

When the residents returned to Carew Park after this meeting, they were delighted to discover that contractors had arrived to remove the waste.

Lane Way and Rock Place residents are still concerned about the derelict house and hope that City Hall will re-let the property as promised.