Town’s drug-dealers escape eviction

PROBLEMS in evicting drug dealers living in local authority housing in Killarney were highlighted at a town council meeting.

Replying to calls for action, town clerk Michael O’Leary said the only person that could be evicted from a house for antisocial behaviour was the tenant.

“In most cases, it’s not the tenant that’s creating the problem, but someone in residence or in part of the household,” he pointed out.

Mr O’Leary said the only censure open to the council was eviction.

The issue arose during a debate on a draft Anti-Social and Nuisance Behaviour policy, which suggests more co-ordination between gardaí, the Health Service Executive and government departments.

The council is proposing a graduated sanctions approach including, first, a verbal warning, a written warning, final warning in writing with, an exclusion order or notice to quit as the last stage.

Labour Cllr Sean O’Grady said people involved in drugs had left estates after pressure was put on them.

“We have to have a mechanism to deal with these people. We will never get over the problem of anti-social behaviour as long as we tolerate drug dealers in housing estates,” he said.

Mr O’Grady is chairman of the Killarney Anti-Drug Liaison Committee which has been trying to deal with such problems.

He called for ‘structured links’ between the council, gardaí and the social services.

Meanwhile, work is due to begin next month on the building of 60 new council houses in Killarney.

A contract with Griffin Brothers, of Castleisland, is due to be signed for the scheme, the first of its kind in three years in Killarney, which has a waiting list of 500 housing applicants.

The new scheme is to be constructed at Direen and will take from a year to 18 months to complete.

Killarney Town Council has had difficulty in finding land for housing because of the high price of development land in Killarney and competition in the market from private developers.

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