'Terrorising other neighbours', councillors hit out at anti-social behaviour in Council houses

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Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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 Carlow

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Councillors have hit out at anti-social behaviour in local authority houses in the Bagenalstown Municipal District area where in some cases they're getting complaints about it "every single day". 

The matter was raised at this month's meeting of the Bagenalstown MD and Cllr Arthur McDonald referenced one area of Bagenalstown where it's a "disaster". 

"There are holes in the walls from punches, I'm getting complaints about it every day, every single week," and he told members that an elderly resident is living in fear. 

Cllr Michael Doran criticised those "terrorising other neighbours" and called for a new policy and to start "getting serious and evicting people". 

"People are breaking common law in this country, the Council seem to be powerless, the tenants have to be responsible too," he added before asking if the local authority's new anti-social behaviour policy will be helpful. 

A new anti-social behaviour policy document was passed last month by the Council with the local authority pledging to combat the behaviour and deal with problem tenants. 

Director of Services at the Council, Michael Brennan, said residents need to record the time and date of incidents of anti-social behaviour and report them to the local authority and the Gardaí. 

He told members that it is "very difficult" to get an eviction from a local authority house as they have to have enough evidence of the behaviour and the Council don't have the resources "to police every estate on a daily basis". 

"A small proportion are being anti-social. Nobody should have to live in their community in fear. We will take action but we have to have our i's dotted and our t's crossed," Mr Brennan added. 

He referenced one case where an 88-year-old woman was being terrorised which is "not acceptable". 

Cllr Doran called for a change to tenancy agreements to make it easier to evict and he added that to "go to court to evict a tenant breaching our rules sounds strange, why is it so easy for private landlords?'. 

Meanwhile Cllr Charlie Murphy said he felt the Gardaí and the local authority were "toothless" and no matter where some tenants are moved there is going to be trouble. 

Cllr McDonald added that a meeting with residents from another estate in the area over anti-social behaviour revealed that they are "very frightened".