Former Fermoy councillor calls on Cork County Council to act to prevent possible arson attacks
Recent arson attempts on vacant local authority houses in Fermoy and Mitchelstown should be immediately addressed by Cork County Council, to prevent a large-scale incident from occurring, a former town councillor has said.
Former Fermoy councillor, Tadhg O’Donovan, said a number of local residents have highlighted the danger of arson attacks on vacant council houses, due to the build-up of postal letters and resultant littering in the houses' hallways.
“What we’ve found out lately, from a few cases, maybe it’s because the schools are on holidays, a number of youths in the area are actually lighting papers and throwing them into the hallways in the hope that the papers in these hallways will ignite.
“Obviously the people who are doing this are conscious of the fact that there is nobody living in these houses,” he told The Avondhu.
“And our fear is that one of these days, not alone will one of the dwellings in question catch fire, but you could end up burning down a dozen houses.”
He’s called for the council to be pro-active in preventing any possible future attacks, by simply sealing the letterboxes of these houses once they become vacant.
The problem was first brought to his attention during the recent local elections, when candidates canvassing in the local area witnessed first hand the build up of letters and paper inside these vacant houses.
“The cynical thought of lighting this to cause a fire didn’t come to our minds until recently, when neighbours that were being affected actually highlighted it for us.”
He is now calling on the council to act before they are forced to, were a major fire to occur.
“Are they waiting for a house or a whole row of houses to be burnt down before they act? It’s a simple policy that when they get the key they seal the letterbox from the inside preventing any litter or postage building up until new tenants move in,” Mr O’Donovan added.
Friday 29th August 8:32am