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Demesne residents up in arms over lighting crisis

Residents in the Demesne housing estate in Longford town were left in the dark for three weeks after street lighting failed last month. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie

Residents in the Demesne housing estate in Longford town were left in the dark for three weeks after street lighting failed last month. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie

An elderly woman living in a Longford town housing estate was forced to wait for an ambulance at her front gate after it emerged the ambulance driver could not see the house numbers in the darkness.

This week’s meeting of Longford County Council heard how residents in the Demesne area endured three weeks of hardship over Christmas due to a breakdown of the street lighting.

In one case, an elderly woman, whose husband was having a suspected heart-attack, was forced to take a flash lamp and wait at her front gate for the ambulance.

The meeting heard that the ambulance driver had circled the estate several times but could not locate the house, because he was unable to see the house numbers in the darkness.

It also emerged that another elderly resident who fell off a footpath and sustained minor injuries said she was unable to see where she was going.

Cllr Mae Sexton (Ind) - who lives in the area - told a budget meeting of Longford Co Council on Monday night that the situation was “totally unacceptable” and she called for an end to the privatisation of lighting.

“The lights were out in the Demesne from the beginning of December until December 20,” she fumed, adding that they were back on and gone again by the 22nd.

“I rang the company that is responsible for the lighting every single day about the matter and they did not get back to me until January 2. The service we are getting is absolutely appalling; there were two serious incidents with residents during that time and I am calling now to have the contract with that company pulled.”

Cllr Sexton spoke of the “unnecessary distress” that some residents were forced to endure because of the lack of lighting in the Demesne last month.

“In the end people did not leave their houses to go outside the door unless they had flash lamps. Such ridiculous carry on,” she told the meeting.

Cllr Sexton concluded by complimenting local authority staff Con Diffley and Michael Cooney for assisting residents.

 

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