Mother-of-four fears for children in rat infested council home

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Leanne Mulqueen at her home in Hyde Villas

A SINGLE mother-of-four, who suffers epileptic seizures, has pleaded with Limerick City and County Council to move her family from their rat infested local authority home.

A council spokesperson said they could not comment on individual cases, however Leanne Mulqueen (32) said her complaints to the joint local authority have so far fallen on deaf ears.

Ms Mulqueen, who gave birth to her fourth child just three weeks ago, said their two-bedroom bungalow is too cramped and is stained in rodent urine and excrement.

She moved in to the house at Hyde Villas, Prospect six months ago after she had been homeless for nearly seven years. The house is adjacent to a number of boarded-up derelict properties.

She explained that, while she was initially overjoyed with the house, she is now horrified at the conditions there.

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“Since I came here, there have been mice and rats. After Christmas, I asked the council to come and see the situation. A bed was destroyed by rodent droppings. My daughter’s christening suit was eaten alive, shredded. I was in an awful state and I didn’t know what to do.”

She said the council paid for a private pest control firm to tackle the problem, but this has not worked.

“The rats and mice are destroying everything. They’re coming from the attic. I’ve traps everywhere, but they’re still coming, the place is infested. I’ve complained it numerous times and I’m getting nowhere.”

“They’re living in the attic. I’m actually living with mice and rats. I’ve dozens of traps. In one room there’s at least six or seven mice traps and it’s dangerous for my kids. I need to be out of here for my kids safety.”

“Is the council waiting for one of my kids to die from urine from one of the rats? Is it going to come to a stage where one of my kids is actually going to be in a coffin before I get anywhere.”

Ms Mulqueen’s children are aged eight, four, two and three weeks.

“I’m worried to death about my kids and if something of theirs drops on the floor, I have to throw it in the bin because there’s droppings and urine.  I don’t have eyes in the back of my head and I’m dong the best that I can.

“I’ve asked to be moved numerous times, and I’m not hearing anything back, I’m just being fobbed off and forgotten about,” she claimed.

“I’m only five stone weight and I’m constantly stressed because my children can’t play in their home as I have to watch everything that they are touching, out of fear that one of my kids is going to die.

“I was happy to get the house because I was homeless for six and a half years, but this is a disaster. What’s next, for one of my children to be found dead?”

A council spokesperson said it “does not comment on cases relating to an individual person as it doesn’t believe that it is right to discuss an individual’s personal situation in such a public forum.

“The council’s customer services department is open for tenants or customers to discuss their situations or raise their issues.”