350 house calls and 47 warnings made to tenants

By Mary Dennehy

SOME 350 house calls have been made in the Mac Uilliam area by South Dublin County Council this month, which has resulted in the issuing of 47 tenancy warnings.

The action is being taken in response to continuing environmental and anti-social issues within an area where local councillors are calling for an integrated approach to support residents – and the future of the estate.

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Fire fighters put out two cars on fire which resulted in a damaged lamp post

A motion seeking the creation of a high-level task force to deal with ‘increasing and ongoing’ issues in Mac Uilliam was tabled in council chambers this week.

The motion was lodged at Monday’s Tallaght Area Committee meeting by Cllr Louise Dunne, and co-signed by her Sinn Féin colleagues Cllr Patrick Holohan and Cllr Cathal King.

Anti-social and environmental issues in Mac Uilliam are continuing to escalate, with illegal dumping, intimidation and incidents of anti-social behaviour peaking over Halloween.

Speaking with The Echo, Cllr Dunne said: “In fairness, council staff are trying their best . . . but we are looking for an integrated approach here.

“There are two community gardai working with the council, but we need senior gardai to be in on this, and agencies like Barnardos and other relevant service providers.

“People living in Mac Uilliam are lost, they’ve been left behind . . . and they don’t know where to turn anymore.”

She added: “The majority of residents are absolutely brilliant and are trying to do their best.

“There is a concern that this behaviour will become normalised for the younger kids.

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The rubbish left after a bonfire in MacUilliam last month

“We need preventive measures and intervention.

“This is our [council’s] estate and we need to make sure that its residents are happy, protected, and not allow a small minority to ruin it.”

As reported in The Echo in July, South Dublin County Council identified Mac Uilliam as a ‘priority’ for an enhanced estate management initiative.

In response to Cllr Dunne’s motion, council management confirmed that two members of staff from its Anti-Social Behaviour team are dedicated to investigating anti-social behaviour by tenants of council dwellings in Mac Uilliam.

According to the council, 350 house calls have been made in the area since November 6, which has resulted in the issuing of 47 tenancy warnings.

The breakdown of warnings include; rubbish in garden/communal area (42); dumping of bonfire material (1); condition of dwelling (3); and damage to another dwelling (1).

The council added: “In addition, three dwellings were found to be illegally occupied. As a result there are currently two abandonment notices being prepared and one dwelling has been surrendered.

“A number of abandoned cars were also identified and removed from the estate.”

The Estate Management section has also been working with residents to improve the area and a local environmental group established.

Meetings take place on a monthly basis and include senior council staff and community gardai.

To support residents in their environmental endeavours, the council said: “There have been significant challenges at the estate, particularly in the last few weeks with Halloween.

“A collection of items/junk took place before Halloween to minimise potential damage and a post Halloween clean-up has taken place.”

The council added that it is also power-washing pavements, greasing public lighting poles to stop youths climbing them, repairing railings and cobble-lock and planting daffodil bulbs.

The 28 new houses at Mac Uilliam Heights were also allocated in September, with the residents from this new area joining the environmental group.

“The council is committed to supporting residents’ work by pro-actively engaging with them and ring-fencing funds from the estate management budget to support locally identified priorities,” the council said.

Planning is underway for the council delivery of a number of other measures in Mac Uilliam over the coming months.

While welcoming the council’s work in the area, Cllr Dunne stressed that the anti-social issue must “be dealt with” before anything else can be a success.

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