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'Forgotten' Oliver Bond residents 'have had enough' of anti-social behaviour and drug dealing, TD says

"There is huge concern and anger within the complex in relation to this kind of behaviour and they feel in a way that they are a forgotten estate"

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In May we revealed the scale of open drug-dealing in the troubled flats complex

In May we revealed the scale of open drug-dealing in the troubled flats complex

In May we revealed the scale of open drug-dealing in the troubled flats complex

Residents of the Oliver Bond House flats in Dublin’s south inner city “have had enough” and want urgent action to tackle ongoing issues with anti-social behaviour and drug dealing, a local TD has said. 

Speaking in the Dail this week, Deputy Patrick Costello said he had been contacted in recent days by residents of the flats complex who are concerned “about the ongoing drug dealing in the community, the intimidation that goes with this and the lawlessness”.

“There is huge concern and anger within the complex in relation to this kind of behaviour and they feel in a way that they are a forgotten estate,” Deputy Costello said.

“I can understand where that is coming from. There is a lack of services in the area, there is a lack of action on the damp in the flats,” he added, pointing out that 82.8pc of the apartments had damp and mould issues.

“Residents described having to wipe down children's school bags, covered in mould before going into school in the mornings,” Deputy Costello said.

“There are plans for regeneration as there has been for a very long time but currently that projected timeline and regeneration for the community is 15 years.

“That's an entire childhood,” he said, “for one child born now living in Oliver Bond, their entire childhood will be spent in substandard accommodation and that contributes to this feeling of being a forgotten estate, that contributes to the drug dealing and that contributes to the crime.

“That creates a vicious cycle of disadvantage,” he added, “and the residents are saying very loudly that they've had enough and they need a clear timetable for when works will happen.”

In May of this year, we revealed how crack cocaine dealers were running an open drugs supermarket in the flat complex where mob boss Daniel Kinahan grew up.

A Sunday World investigation showed how cartel drug dealers were openly selling crack cocaine in the inner-city complex where the mafia boss was raised in scenes akin to The Wire.

Our undercover team watched as Kinahan product was sold like sweets in a shop with residents living in terror of the designer-clad pushers who have taken over the courtyards and stairwells.

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The dealing is happening just metres from the flat where Kinahan's mother, Jean Boylan, lived and which is still kept as a "shrine" to her - seven years after she died.

Local councillor Mannix Flynn told how residents were terrified and been abandoned by everyone.

“People are queuing up to get a transfer,” he said. “Parents can't even send their children to the shops as they are afraid that they will be targeted by the dealers. Grown men are terrified. People stay in and close their doors and they don't let their children out.”

In response to Deputy Costello, Peter Burke TD, Minister of State with Responsibility for Local Government and Planning, said his department “would not be found wanting” in relation to tackling the issues raised.

“I can absolutely assure you that the department will work together with the community, and with Dublin City Council and the gardai and estate agencies to try and resolve the anti-social issues that are there,” he said.

“One thing that is very clear to me is that there are so many genuine people and genuine families that do get caught up with this pressure and feel victimised and we will not be found wanting at with that regard.”

He added that Dublin City Council is working very closely with the gardai and actively engaging with residents and assisting them at an individual level to address issues brought to their attention.

“Dublin City Council officials are attending meetings with resident groups which regard to their concerns,” he added.

“There are monthly meetings with the gardai and Dublin City Council’s area office and there's ongoing cooperation to investigate complaints of alleged drug distribution.

“All complaints are investigated and if it's a criminal matter the complainant must be referred to the gardai.

“If the gardai make the council aware that a tenant has used their flat for sale or supply or for the manufacture of illegal drugs then the council can act within the civil powers to seek an undertaking in relation to future behaviour or recovery of the dwelling.”

The Minister said Dublin City Council had also installed state of the art security cameras to assist with the investigation of complaints raised in relation to anti-social behaviour.

“I know in terms of the seriousness the Government takes this matter, he said, “as the Taoiseach himself was down on site and this is getting the highest priority in Government.”

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