"I've lived here for 49 years and this is as bad as I have ever seen it."Those were the words of a longtime resident of The Glen on Cork's northside, who pleaded for local authority intervention as flytipping and anti-social behaviour escalates in a trouble spot in one of the estates in the area.
A derelict house in Mangerton Close in The Glen has become a focal point for rubbish to be dumped, which is attracting rats and other infestations, while it has also been the site of anti-social behaviour including fires.
Residents said that the house has lain idle and boarded up for months, but that calls to Cork City Council for action to be taken have proved fruitless.
Resident Denis O'Keeffe, who is in his 70s, said it was very discouraging for "the proud community in Mangerton Close and Arderin Way" to see their community blighted by such eyesores.
"I'm here for 49 years and this is bad as I have ever seen it. It beggars belief that it remains the way it is, despite calls over and over again to City Hall.
"Most the the people in this community are the most genuine and hard-working people you will find anywhere in Ireland, they want to have that sense of community that has always been here, but we need the council to help us.
"It happens every 10 years or so that this kind of thing flares up. You always felt in the past that you could rely on good and friendly people within the-then Cork Corporation and City Hall to help.
They would come to visit, would engage with the community and you felt they understood. That feeling is long gone unfortunately -- we feel forgotten about in City Hall, it's rare you get any face-to-face contact.
Mr O'Keeffe said the community was full of volunteers for youngsters when it came to the likes of football and boxing, but that crime prevention needed to include more community engagement.
"We have meetings once a year, but you feel that when the meeting is over, the problems are forgotten about for another 12 months. This is a serious health and safety issue for residents, and now is not the time to hide behind the pandemic for why action cannot be taken," he said.
Mr O'Keeffe said he was expressing the views of many of his neighbours and community that the northside of the city was not as high a priority for politicians and local authority officials as the other side of the river.
"It's hard not to think so. If your calls fall on deaf ears over and over again, you're bound to believe it. You see over and over again plans for the southside of the city and you feel so disappointed as a long-time resident that the northside doesn't get anything even remotely similar."
Cork City Council and local authorities around the country have seen a huge spike in illegal dumping, with flytippers using the lockdown to covertly discard their rubbish.
Cork North Central TD Thomas Gould said the flytipping 'epidemic' was a city and county wide problem.
"It is not an isolated Glen issue, but one all over. Rats are becoming a public health issue, the last thing we need during the Covid-19 crisis. Mr O'Keeffe is correct when it comes to the northside of the city, we've had piecemeal investments which are welcome, but the whole of that side of the city needs a comprehensive plan for the future, with all stakeholders consulted."
There was no comment available from Cork City Council at the time of going to press.