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Under rat-tack Gardaí fight a losing battle with rodents and pests infesting Phoenix Park headquarters

Dumping of rubbish was also reported, leading to a wave of rodents quickly descending on the area, according to the log of incidents.


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Gardaí have been waging a secret war against intruders... of the creepy crawly and four-legged variety.

Pest control reports from their Phoenix Park headquarters detail a litany of problems at the Garda HQ with rodents, pigeons, insects, and even stray cats.

Inspections log a succession of issues including rubbish dumping that "beggars belief” and a mouse in a sensitive fingerprint laboratory.

One callout noted an infestation at a gent’s toilet, which was “swarming with large moths and small flies”. However, an inspector arrived to find no visible sign of insects, saying they may have came in open windows during the night.

Concerns were also raised about a window in a basement area that was held ajar with a waste pipe.

“This is close to recycling and the kitchen canteen in the tech bureau centre so it would be of major concern for rodent activity,” a report read.

Exterminators also warned about the dangers of leaving doors wedged open in another area of the technical bureau building, where two doors were being held open with a fire extinguisher and a gas burner.

“Spoke with XX about leaving doors open in tech bureau and advised him that it could lead to rodents entering the building,” said a report.

Dumping of rubbish was also reported, leading to a wave of rodents quickly descending on the area, according to the log of incidents.

“This is an ongoing problem, which was first reported last week,” a report said.

“As previously stated, in normal conditions this standard of hygiene in the workplace would not be acceptable — but it beggars belief that in the current Covid crisis in which we find ourselves the problem persists.”

Problems were also found in the Garda Commissioner’s building, with an infestation of woodlice recorded.

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Another report detailed mouse activity in the administration building of Forensic Science Ireland (FSI).

“We have seen pest droppings in the admin office in the annexe of FSI,” a report, which suggested they were coming in from behind a sink, said.

Dead pigeons were also a problem with multiple carcasses removed from a disused extraction fan pipe, and one live bird rescued.

Rodents were found in a fingerprint visualisation laboratory, according to the records.

“I’ve been told a mouse was spotted in the... lab on the first floor yesterday evening? Can you get someone in to set a trap?” the call-out sheet read.

Mysterious sounds were also reported at the Garda command and control centre in Harcourt Square in Dublin’s city centre.

“XX and I were working here the other night, and we could hear footsteps walking along the ceiling tiles above our heads, possibly a rat or mouse infestation,” read the incident report.

Gardaí said the location of their headquarters in the 1,700-acre Phoenix Park made the presence of pests “almost impossible” to avoid.

They said pest control at their HQ consisted of monthly routine inspections of rodent and insect monitoring points.

Proactive measures were also taken to “rodent proof” their buildings by fitting collars where pipes pass through walls and shutting off other access routes.

When pest activity was spotted, exterminators were immediately called out to take the “necessary steps."

A garda spokesman said: “The Garda HQ is situated in the Phoenix Park, which offers broad and diverse habitats for birds and other wildlife. Some other animals present in the park include wild deer, badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, rabbits, squirrels, house mice, wood mice and brown rats.

“With this in mind, and given the unique location and surroundings, the Facilities Management Office routinely manage emergency callouts for a number of pests, most notably pigeons, ants, and mice.

“It has also been noted that there are at times a number of stray cats on the site.”

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