“This is all about community. If we don’t work collectively, things won’t happen.”
The words of Paddy Duffy, who chaired last week’s meeting on Longford town housing estate, Gleann Riada.
Based in Dublin, Mr Duffy is a landlord in the area, and he was joined by fellow landlords, residents, owners and interested parties, as well as Sergeant Ray Tubman, Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Gerry Warnock, and his fellow Cllrs Seamus Butler and John Browne, as they struggled to put a stop to the troubles facing the estate.
Anti-social behaviour was a major issue facing residents, and Mr Duffy explained, “Gleann Riada is not the only estate that suffers in this regard.
“There are some residents who don’t seem to give a damn about the other residents in the estate,” he continued, adding that some of the incidents went “beyond anti-social behaviour”.
He went on to state that there had been one assault reported to the Gardaí, while there were also issues with children running around in the middle of the night, littering, dumping and horses being brought into the estate.
Sgt Tubman agreed that the issues were “absolutely unacceptable for any Residents’ Association”, going on to say that the problem is not unique to either Gleann Riada or Longford, and that a lot of positive work had already been done on the matter.
“I would encourage people to report, particularly where the momentum is with us and while we had that success it’s important to keep that effort going.”
It was decided that, to try and overcome part of the problem, community clean ups would be organised by volunteers who put their names forward at the meeting.
Vacant and vandalised properties was another major issue, and Mr Duffy estimated that of the 80 units in the estate, approximately thirty of them are vacant, which many of the residents believe, is encouraging anti-social behaviour.
Attempting to identify and ‘go after’ the owners, the committee are making an effort to determine the owners of all the units in the area and they asked all in attendance to mark down their own properties to ensure that details were accurate.
The third, and possibly most serious, issue, was the lingering effect of the explosion in the housing estate in 2012.
A no lighted fires notice, served following the explosion, is still in effect, according to a report by Landlord Eamon Moran who contacted the HSE. Mr Moran also revealed that a further investigation on the general area would need to be carried out before it is lifted. Individual surveys would have to follow, as well as repairs. The cost of the initial survey, he told the meeting, was €3,500 including VAT.
It was then decided, on recommendation of Cllr Gerry Warnock, to write a formal letter to the council on behalf of the Residents’ Association, to cover the cost of the initial assessment.