Residents of Rosemount Terrace in Letterkenny say they have been living with sewage and flooding problems for more than decade.
Several residents and property owners said they have brought their concerns over flooding and sewage to the council and the Environmental Protection Agency. The council said it is not their responsibility, but they are trying to facilitate a resolution to the problem.
“We’ve just had enough of the run-around,” said Fergus Dunnion, who owns a house on the street.
“We don’t care whose fault it is. We want a resolution and we want it now,” said a resident. “Let them work out who’s responsible later, but they have to sort out the problem here and now because our health is at risk.”
Hours after rain had stopped on Monday, there was still a steady stream of water coming from a pipe that emptied on to a paved area behind Paddy Gallagher’s Rosemount Terrace home. The quiet, residential street is located downhill from Letterkenny’s Main Street. Earlier in the day, the water had risen a couple of inches along the back of Paddy’s house, spilling down the adjacent lane and on to Rosemount Terrace. Later, there was still a foul odour coming from the water that Paddy said was much worse in warm weather.
“How long can you take this?” Paddy asked. “Does anyone deserve a smell like that?” He said the odour forces him to keep windows closed in summer and the foul water also attracts blue-bottle flies.
Paddy lives in his family home, a house about 110 years old, though Paddy said the flooding problem began about 10 years ago. He has photographs of his mother, who passed away seven years ago, standing at the rear of the house when flooding was already an issue.
The emptying pipe faces the exterior wall of a rear bathroom that Paddy said is plagued with damp: He has found snails on the bathroom tiles. He said the odour is “in the house day after day and nobody is taking responsibility for it.”
Fergus agreed. “No one seems to want to take oversight,” he said.
Neighbour Kevin Murray said he brings coal in through the front door at his house so that he does not have to walk through the water at the back. “It means I have a garden I can’t use,” he said.
Letterkenny town engineer, John McCarron, said council were aware of the problem and seeking to facilitate a resolution, though he said it was a private matter and not the council’s responsibility. A resident said council staff visited residents on Tuesday in order to seek a solution.
Local Fine Gael Cllr. Jimmy Kavanagh, who has been making representations on behalf of the residents of Rosemount Terrace, said the residents have shown a great deal of patience.
“The council, the businesses and everyone involved here needs to get together as a matter of urgency and solutions need to be found right away,” Cllr. Kavanagh said. “Residents cannot be expected to live in those conditions.”