‘intolerable’ | 

Dublin mums tell of housing hell with dumping, rats and anti-social behaviour

"I suffer from a neurological condition and all this stress isn’t helping. At night, there are doors being kicked in and people screaming and shouting – you can’t even sleep."

The remains of a rat at the Castle Court apartment complex in Dublin

Tony McCullagh

The Peter McVerry Trust has defended its management of a city centre social housing complex following complaints of illegal dumping, rat infestation and anti-social behaviour.

Some families living at Castle Court, on Castle Street, Dublin 2, claim living conditions have become unbearable and are seeking to be rehoused.

On its website, the charity describes the scheme, located close to Dublin Castle, as “13 high-quality apartments”. The complex was officially opened in 2018 by then Minister of State Damien English.

However, Castle Court residents have raised concerns about ongoing anti-social behaviour, including drug-use and late-night noise, as well as illegal dumping and problems with rats.

Danielle Hogan, who has lived in the complex with her two teenage daughters since 2019, told Independent.ie the situation has become “intolerable”.

Danielle Hogan and Tanya Brady at Castle Court apartments in Dublin. Pic: Mark Condren

“One of my daughters has been awake since 5am as she could hear rats scratching from behind the walls,” she said. “The girls are terrified living here and don’t want to come home.

“I suffer from a neurological condition and all this stress isn’t helping. At night, there are doors being kicked in and people screaming and shouting – you can’t even sleep.

“I’ve put a lot of money into this apartment but I just want out at this stage,” she added.

Tanya Brady, who lives on the fourth floor, revealed that her eight-year-old son, who has autism, previously managed to climb out a window and onto the roof.

“We had to call the fire brigade but thankfully a neighbour was able to get him down safely,” she said.

“This is no longer a suitable or safe environment for him. I have to sleep beside him at night as I’m terrified he might try to escape.”

She claimed rubbish is regularly dumped in the lifts and “there is a smell of marijuana everywhere”.

Rubbish dumped in the lift area at the Castle Court apartment complex

“I’m only 35 but living in that place makes me feel like I’m 50,” she said. “My needs are completely different to what they were when I moved in here three and a half years ago.”

She said she had applied for a transfer and would ideally like to be rehoused in Finglas so she can help care for her mother, who has health issues.

In a statement, Peter McVerry Trust said: “Unfortunately, we have repeated instances of tenants failing to adhere to basic waste management procedures at Castle Court and we have issued advice and warnings.

The Peter McVerry Trust has repeatedly warned tenants about not disposing of rubbish correctly

“Failure to put waste in the bins provided has increased the likelihood of rodents, which is further compounded by being in the historic area around Dublin Castle.

“We have the bin area monitored by pest control and it is regularly cleaned out and power washed by our maintenance staff.

“We continue to engage with the tenants to remind them of their obligations and responsibilities and hope to find positive outcomes for all.”

The charity said all tenants had viewed and accepted the properties before they moved in and would have had time to familiarise themselves with the area prior to taking up residence.

“Tenants can, if they wish, request a transfer once they have been in the property two years, which is a standard local authority rule,” they added.

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