| 9.9°C Dublin

abandoned 'Estate from hell' residents say boarded-up homes show area has become 'dumping ground'

Residents living in nightmare as boarded-up homes set on fire and cars speeding down street stop parents letting the children outside to play

Close

Officially it's known as St Colmcille Terrace, but those occupying the few remaining houses that are not boarded up just off the centre of Granard, County Longford, call it the place everybody has forgotten and even compare it to the run down Chatsworth estate in the hit Channel4 drama Shameless.

Officially it's known as St Colmcille Terrace, but those occupying the few remaining houses that are not boarded up just off the centre of Granard, County Longford, call it the place everybody has forgotten and even compare it to the run down Chatsworth estate in the hit Channel4 drama Shameless.

Some of the dilapidated properties in the area

Some of the dilapidated properties in the area

Mould growing on one of the properties

Mould growing on one of the properties

Meet the residents of the 'Estate from hell'. Officially it's known as St Colmcille Terrace, but those occupying the few remaining houses that are not boarded up just off the centre of Granard, County Longford, call it the place everybody has forgotten and even compare it to the run down Chatsworth estate in the hit Channel4 drama Shameless.

Meet the residents of the 'Estate from hell'. Officially it's known as St Colmcille Terrace, but those occupying the few remaining houses that are not boarded up just off the centre of Granard, County Longford, call it the place everybody has forgotten and even compare it to the run down Chatsworth estate in the hit Channel4 drama Shameless.

Many of the properties have been left abandoned

Many of the properties have been left abandoned

/

Officially it's known as St Colmcille Terrace, but those occupying the few remaining houses that are not boarded up just off the centre of Granard, County Longford, call it the place everybody has forgotten and even compare it to the run down Chatsworth estate in the hit Channel4 drama Shameless.

Meet the residents of the 'estate from hell'.

Officially it's known as St Colmcille Terrace, but those occupying the few remaining houses that are not boarded up near the centre of Granard, Co Longford, call it the place everybody has forgotten - and even compare it to the run-down Chatsworth estate in the hit Channel 4 drama Shameless.

And it is all too easy to see why.

When the Sunday World visited last Wednesday a number of feral cats were chasing massive rats around the back of the houses, where large-scale fly tipping has turned the area into a huge, illegal rubbish dump.

And as cars raced up and down the road - which has no speed ramps in place - it was clear why those with children choose to keep them indoors.

Close

Some of the dilapidated properties in the area

Some of the dilapidated properties in the area

Some of the dilapidated properties in the area

The problems date back 10 years or more when around a dozen houses on the terrace became vacant and were left to become derelict by Longford County Council.

The downward spiral has escalated since 2018 when Tuath, a Dublin-based housing association, entered into negotiations with the council to take over the running of the place.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor PJ Reilly says: "Tuath never completed the agreement to take over - they just kept introducing more and more demands of the council to allow them to do so. They haven't walked away from the arrangement, they have just taken large steps sideways from it, even though in 2018 the then housing Minister allocated €1.6 million for works on the terrace."

One resident, Tracy Stokes, told us: "When you ring Tuath up to see what is happening you never get to speak to anyone. Basically, apart from one occasion since last September, they have ignored my calls. The one time I did get through the guy admitted we had been waiting far too long for work to begin.

"Funnily enough that is what I was calling to tell him!

"It is four years this May since Tuath unveiled their grand plans, which looked brilliant on paper. Oh yes, speed ramps, the whole works were included. Well we want to know where are they? The idea was great on paper but nothing's happened.

"The council have more or less abandoned us as they don't even send in anyone to do repairs, the windows are rotting and everyone's house has mould on the walls," adds Tracy.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"Both the council and Tuath are fobbing us off. Nobody will give us answers."

Close

Mould growing on one of the properties

Mould growing on one of the properties

Mould growing on one of the properties

Rosie McQuillan, who was born on the street and has never moved out, says that even if she wanted to she couldn't.

"My house is wringing wet inside with the damp and look at the state of the place - even if I wanted to sell up, who in the name of God would buy from me, we are all trapped in hell, that is what it is, we are living in hell."

And it is not just the houses that are proving difficult to sell, as Caroline Kelly confirmed: "I had a car for sale outside my house. A potential buyer from Clare got word about it and agreed to come and have a look - but when they arrived and seen the state the terrace is in they turned round and drove off without even talking to me."

Kevin Small lives beside one of the boarded-up houses and is scared to let any of his six children out to play.

He said: "There are two reasons, first of all the house beside us is full of rats and wild cats and you know what kids are like, they wouldn't realise the dangers of them. Also with the speed cars drive up and down the road there's an accident waiting to happen."

Close

Meet the residents of the 'Estate from hell'. Officially it's known as St Colmcille Terrace, but those occupying the few remaining houses that are not boarded up just off the centre of Granard, County Longford, call it the place everybody has forgotten and even compare it to the run down Chatsworth estate in the hit Channel4 drama Shameless.

Meet the residents of the 'Estate from hell'. Officially it's known as St Colmcille Terrace, but those occupying the few remaining houses that are not boarded up just off the centre of Granard, County Longford, call it the place everybody has forgotten and even compare it to the run down Chatsworth estate in the hit Channel4 drama Shameless.

Meet the residents of the 'Estate from hell'. Officially it's known as St Colmcille Terrace, but those occupying the few remaining houses that are not boarded up just off the centre of Granard, County Longford, call it the place everybody has forgotten and even compare it to the run down Chatsworth estate in the hit Channel4 drama Shameless.

The empty properties have also attracted antisocial activity - residents are keen to stress, from outside the area - and Rosie says this pre-dates the current situation.

"Fifteen years ago two empty houses either side of me were burned down, my family were lucky to get out in time and our house was smoke damaged."

Close

Many of the properties have been left abandoned

Many of the properties have been left abandoned

Many of the properties have been left abandoned

Joe Kelly wasn't quite so lucky in 2011.

He recalls: "An empty place beside me was set on fire and my house was that badly damaged I had to move out for three months until it was fixed well enough to live in."

While the residents remain frustrated at the lack of progress being made and continue to highlight the dangers posed on the derelict estate, both the council and Tuath say they are committed to the project.

A joint statement read: "Tuath Housing and Longford County Council are working together to deliver this housing regeneration project at Colmcille Terrace in Granard."

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy