A mum-of-two has spoken out about the horror of living on a street ‘infested’ with rats.
Pauline Rooney says she has had to live alongside huge rodents the size of cats for years.
The alleyway behind her home is overgrown and unadopted, which means residents can’t bring their bins into the small yards behind their homes and have to leave them out on the street all day instead.
As a result, Pauline says this has led to large amounts of rats descending on the area, making residents’ lives hell.
“Everywhere you go you see these huge rats running around that are the size of a cat or a small dog,” she told BelfastLive.
Pauline, who lives on Eia Street in North Belfast, moved into the road seven years ago.
From that moment on she claims she’s had to deal with the unsightly rodents scurrying around because local residents are unable to put their bins away properly.
The alleyway behind her home is overgrown and unadopted, which means residents are unable to bring their bins into the small yards behind their homes so have to leave them out on the street all week long.
She says this has led to large amounts of rats descending on the area, making residents’ lives hell.
“For the past seven years I have had to bring my children up completely surrounded by rats,” she complained. “It is no condition for any of our children to be forced to play in.
“I feel like the entire time I have been here I have gone back and forth to different meetings trying to get the issue resolved but nothing ever seems to happen. The council pest control has been here this week and put poison in the drains, but I doubt it will do much as there are so many of them.
“There have been countless mornings that our children are waking up to dead rats lying in the street. I even have CCTV footage of rats jumping out of a bin lorry at the men collecting the bins while others scurry about the street, it is shocking.
“The issue is the alleyway behind our homes which is so overgrown, we can’t put our bins away in the back and as nobody has a front yard the bins are stuck on the street all the time. But because the alley is unadopted, nobody seems to care or want to do anything about it.”
Pauline also says that the alley has become a danger to those living near it in the event of an emergency.
She continued: “If there was a fire at the front of our homes we would be trapped, there is no way we would be able to get out of the back. Nobody should have to live like this.”
The council has said that the alleyway is the responsibility of the landowner and that it has baited sewers and gullies in the area as part of a sewer baiting programme.
A Belfast City Council spokesperson added: “The alleyway in question is not adopted and therefore the maintenance of the alleyway is the responsibility of the landowner.
“We are aware of reports of rats in this area and are currently baiting sewers and gullies as part of Belfast City Council’s sewer baiting programme.
“We would encourage residents to contact the service directly to report any problems they may be experiencing by calling 02890270431 or emailing email@example.com .”