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Arson attacks in Dún Laoghaire - Urgent action needed now

1 September, 2005

Following another spate of arson attacks on a number of derelict houses in Laural Avenue, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, local Sinn Féin representative Michael Nolan has called on Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council to make this it's "number one priority". The Sinn Féin representative said the "situation was totally unacceptable" and that it was only a matter of time before somebody is seriously injured or killed.

Mr. Nolan said, "Much has been made of the deliberations the Council have been engaged in over the old Dún Laoghaire baths site in recent months with hours of council time spent on it and acres of media coverage given to it. However, the Laurel Avenue issue, which is literally an issue of life and death, is a much more critical situation that would need only a fraction of the attention that has been given to the baths debate for it to be resolved. It just needs to be prioritised.

"Earlier in the year I was told by Dublin Fire Brigade that they have been called out to the road over forty times to put out fires. Since then there have been dozens more fires, with the last couple of days alone seeing the Fire Brigade called out several times. Only last night four units of the Fire Service were tackling yet another blaze.

"People are living in disgraceful conditions; the council owned properties are a magnet for anti-social behaviour and the current situation is totally unacceptable. It is only a matter of time before somebody is seriously injured or killed.

"My understanding from the Fire Brigade is that these buildings were condemned over two years ago. That they are still standing is scandalous. They must be levelled to the ground without delay - not only for the sake of the community but to ensure that the lives and safety of the men and women of the Dublin fire service aren't being needlessly put in jeopardy."

Mr. Nolan concluded by saying that Dún Laoghaire Sinn Féin will hold a picket in solidarity with local residents on Saturday morning to demand that the Council take immediate action to tear down these potential death-traps. The protest will take place at 11am on Saturday morning on Laurel Avenue. ENDS

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