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Dún Laoghaire Council told to get its priorities right

16 June, 2005


Fire Brigade called out almost forty times in five months to Laurel Avenue

Dún Laoghaire Sinn Féin representative, Michael Nolan has called for Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council to "get its priorities right." Mr. Nolan made his call as Councillors met in private this week to discuss the proposals for the development of the old baths site in Dún Laoghaire. Mr. Nolan said: "Sinn Féin are not opposed to the development of the site in principle but there are other priorities for the County Council more deserving of urgent attention." The Sinn Féin representative drew attention to what he termed "the appalling state of dereliction that exists in Laurel Avenue in Loughlinstown." Local residents have told Sinn Féin that the Fire Brigade is being called out on an almost nightly basis to deal with fires in a number of the derelict homes. Last week Mr. Nolan asked Dublin Fire Brigade for details of the number of call outs over the last six months to gauge the seriousness of the situation. In a written response received today the Fire Brigade say from January to May of this year alone they were called out almost fifty times to attend deliberately started fires at Laurel Avenue.

Mr. Nolan said: "County councillors and officials need to get their priorities rights. It's all well and good talking about bright and shiny new developments on the sea front but we have people in Laurel Avenue in Loughlinstown living in an environment that would shame shantytown dwellers in the third world country. With over half the houses boarded up and several of them severely damaged by deliberately started fires it is long past time that the whole road was levelled and rebuilt. This should be the County Councils top priority. Everything should be done to re-house the remaining local residents so that reconstruction work can commence immediately.

"The amount of stress and the demoralising impact the current situation is having on the residents of Laurel Ave and the surrounding estates is palpable. The boarded up houses are a magnet for anti-social behaviour. There is a very real danger that fires started in the abandoned buildings could easily spread to occupied dwellings. It is many years since the council first agreed to the demolition of the houses on Laurel Avenue. What we now need is immediate action before the situation gets completely out of hand and we end up with people injured or killed as a result of arson attacks on these council owned properties." ENDS

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