Twenty local authority tenants were approved for house transfers in North Cork because they were victims of “neighbours from hell”.
Independent councillor John Paul O’Shea, who had sought information on the reasons for house transfers in the council’s Northern Division, said that he was “shocked and surprised” by the figure because he thought there was a strong policy in place to deal with local authority tenants who were causing antisocial problems in council estates.
“This obviously means that we can’t deal with them (antisocial tenants),” said Sinn Féin councillor Melissa Mullane.
Figures for such transfers in other regions of the county were not made available by council officials.
However, they said they would not approve transfers unless they had ‘a strong garda report’ showing that these people were victims of antisocial behaviour by neighbours.
The report said that 10 were approved for transfers because of overcrowding and seven because they wanted a downsized property which was then used to house families.
A further 34 were moved to different properties for what officials said was “medical/ compassionate reasons”.
Ms Mullane said the real figure for neighbours from hell victims could be higher, because a further 52 tenants were listed as being approved transfers for more than one reason and these reasons were not clarified in the report.
“It’s a shocking indictment of us,” she said. “We could have 20 houses we now can’t fill because we can’t deal with them [anti-social tenants].”
Fianna Fáil councillor Ian Doyle, who is chairman of the Northern Division, said it is a real shame to see the figures because the problem might only be caused by a couple of individuals.
Independent councillor Tim Collins said that the people who had applied for transfers probably did not want to leave their estates but wanted those responsible for anti-social behaviour to go.
He maintained that drug dealing is one of the main causes of anti- social behaviour in council estates.
Mr O’Shea said that the council needs to appoint more officials to work in the council’s estates management department in order to tackle the issue.
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