Irish Water rats
Widow Rose traumatised by invasion after nearby site clean
A WICKLOW grandmother has told of her terror after a clean-up operation on a Irish Water site beside her home led to her house being overrun with rats.
Widow Rose Murphy, who lives alone in the home at Mountain View Drive in Arklow, said at one stage she was so traumatised by rats running around her home she had to flee the house.
Rose said the rats have caused serious damage and she was left to foot the bill.
"You can imagine what it was like trying to sleep at night when you hear them up in the attic. It was like a football match. I was terrified here on my own. I moved up to my daughters for a while."
Cancer survivor Rose hired a pest control company at her own expense which caught eight rats inside her home. She said the stress of the situation has been hard to handle.
"The doctor put me on a relaxing tablet which I don't want to be on. As a result of stress I got a burst vessel in the back of my left eye.
"I love my house. I didn't realise there was going to be anything like this when I bought the house."
She said the problems began when there was a clean-up operation at an Irish Water site beside her home.
"The work disturbed the rodents who relocated to my house. I'm a retired widow living on my own on an old age pension.
"I had to employ two professionals to eradicate this problem at great expense. Also the attic is damaged and all its contents will have to be destroyed for health and safety reasons."
She said she has been dealing with people in Wicklow County Council and Irish Water over the issue and said she was initially ignored.
However, after TD and Minister Simon Harris wrote a letter on her behalf, Irish Water agreed to hire a pest controller who comes out once a month to put down rat traps.
Rose said she has had to pay for a firm to come out and put in measures to stop the rats getting in.
"I had to pay for a man to put down a gate so they can't get in to my property now. It's costing me a lot of money from my old age pension.
"I'm looking for them to reimburse me and do what they were asked to do when they brought in their own pest control to clean it up."
She added that Irish Water have said they will pay to decontaminate her attic but have said she will have to take everything down from it first.
"They won't come and do the attic. They want me to remove all the stuff. I've been told I'd be prone to Weil's disease. I've already had cancer. I don't want to get Weil's Disease clearing it myself.
"I have gorgeous stuff in my attic that my parents left me. They said they would spray the attic but they want me to take down the stuff. I'm not able to myself and I don't want to have to hire someone to do it."
She broke down in tears when she said that she hasn't been the same since this started.
"I've been told I'm a changed woman since this all happened. I'm terrified the cancer will come back with stress."
A spokesperson for Irish Water said: "Irish Water cannot comment on specific cases, however we can confirm we recently surveyed Mountain View Drive in Arklow and found no pest-related issues with the water or sewer networks in the area.
"In general rats are not attracted by sewage and sewers are rarely a primary cause of rodent problems. Occasionally and as a gesture of goodwill, Irish Water may engage the services of a pest control company to assist customers who report issues."