Sunday 15 December 2019

Evict our estate dumping repeat offenders appeal

David Looby

Evictions are what is needed to solve Wexford County Council's ongoing anti social behaviour repeat offender problem.

This is the view of Cllr George Lawlor who told Monday's meeting of Wexford County Council that he has been hearing complaints for three years about a family in a Wexford town estate who have a dump behind their house.

'Month after month there is a trailer load of rubbish left behind the house. Last week a resident in his 80s was power washing the street. With civic pride in mind the residents bagged up a lot of the rubbish last week and there was another trailer load a few days later. They are giving two fingers to the civic minded citizens who are trying to do their best for their estate.'

He asked: 'How many ASBO cases do we have before the courts? Are this family subject to the same rules as other families?' I know of a single mother who got a letter because her bin wasn't emptied. What are we doing when knowledge of this has been known for a number of years and I am not getting into the state of the house which has cost us tens of thousands of euros in damage and repairs.'

Cllr Paddy Kavanagh aid: 'I thought Cllr Lawlor was after moving to Dromgoold. Welcome to the real world!'

Mr Carley said: 'We are dealing with all of these cases. They take two to three years.'

Cllr Larry O'Brien said the council are paying huge sums of money to the local authority's solicitors and yet cases aren't being brought to court.

Having checked his email communication with Mr Carley's office, Cllr Lawlor said he sought an update on the family in question as far back as August 2016. Head of Finance Annette O'Neill said council solicitors are paid by case, adding that she didn't see the need to state how much was paid to the firm last year. Chairman Cllr John Hegarty said: 'Are we happy with the quality of service we are getting.'

Cllr Lawlor said: 'I am not sure it is the solicitor or are we taking this problem seriously.'

Taken aback by the comment, Mr Carley said: 'We are taking the problem seriously but it takes time to deal with these particular issues. I am working with a variety of people in the policing business who are working on that particular issue because I know they have been causing a problem for their neighbours. I am determined that we are going to deal with them. We have put a system in place to deal with these cases. They are taking longer than I would like.'

CEO Tom Enright said he can understand residents' frustration with the process. He said council staff can remove the waste and apply charges to the tenant at a later state. 'We have made some significant progress on some large scale operations in some threatening conditions.'

Cllr Lisa McDonald said: 'Bring an eviction case. It sounds like it's a direct breach of tenancy if they are bringing rubbish in from somewhere else. It doesn't take two years on average to bring a case to the district court.'

Cllr McDonald said the council tend to delay cases also. 'If there is any energy put behind getting a conviction (it will be heard in court). There are a lot of different ways to skin a cat.'

Wexford People

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