Carrick-on-Suir residents fear for their children’s safety

Residents of the Gleann an Locha estate in Carrick-on-Suir fear a child will lose their life on the large unfinished building site behind their homes if action is not taken soon to secure and make safe the site.

Residents of the Gleann an Locha estate in Carrick-on-Suir fear a child will lose their life on the large unfinished building site behind their homes if action is not taken soon to secure and make safe the site.

Residents of the Gleann an Locha estate in Carrick-on-Suir fear a child will lose their life on the large unfinished building site behind their homes if action is not taken soon to secure and make safe the site.

The extensive site at the back of their homes has several large open manholes that are six feet deep, the foundations for a number of houses and 15 unoccupied completed houses in a dangerous condition after being ransacked and wrecked by vandals with windows and doors broken, ceilings kicked in, stair banisters ripped out, fires lit in rooms and an array of internal and outside fittings stolen.

The derelict site has become a haven for drinking parties and is easily accessible as the gate leading into the site is open.

Another major problem and hazard on the site is the dumping of household rubbish. Gleann an Locha resident Ciara O’Neill says the rubbish has been there since last summer, and hasn’t been removed yet despite the Co. Council issuing an enforcement notice on the company the deadline for which was up last December.

It’s a far cry from the artist’s impression of the beautifully landscaped finished Gleann an Locha estate complete with coiffured green areas, walks and a waterfall in the duck lake beside the scheme that Atlantic Developments published in its advertising brochure for the dream private estate before the property crash changed everything.

Ciara, who has been living on the estate nearly four years, founded a residents association to try and get the outstanding works completed and services maintained around the 13 occupied houses in the first phase, that includes two homes for people with intellectual and physical disabilities owned by the Camphill Community. The residents association applied last autumn to the Town Council to have the estate taken in charge so that its road, water, sewerage and other services would be maintained by the local authority.

Ciara said she and others were very angry that there isn’t any public lighting working in front of their homes. This was a major safety issue at night for residents, said Ciara.

Another safety concern is the raised manholes on the roadway outside their houses as the final layer of tarmac hasn’t been laid.

“There are children living in this estate and they play on bikes and scooters. If they went out over the handlebar of a bike after hitting one of these manholes they could be killed,” she warned.

Three houses on her row are not occupied, including the show house, which has been wrecked inside by vandals.

But of greatest concern is the health and safety dangers posed by the unfinished building site behind their homes, which Ciara points out can be entered from the side of the vacant detached houses on their row.

Another resident Sharon O’Neill, a mother of a young baby, said the building site was very dangerous and children from around the locality were going in there on their bikes to play. “All that needs to happen is for a child to look down one of those manholes and slip and be seriously injured or killed,” she said

Ciara O’Neill is not just angry at the response of the developers to their difficulties but also Carrick-on-Suir Town Council management, and feels after three years they have done nothing too help them. She feels that Council has been too slow to go down the route of issuing enforcement proceedings against the developers.

“We kind of feel we are being ignored by the developers and by the Council. None of them are taking ownership of the issue,” she said.

She is also highly critical of the Council’s decision to award the Ballylynch rejuvenation contract to Atlantic Developments. “This company was awarded a E2.2m contract in the town when it left 13 familiies in the lurch,” she said.