Dara Park to protest outside council

a number of residents from Dara Park in Newbridge have vowed to protest outside Kildare County Council’s office if on-going issues of sewage and flooding are not resolved once and for all.

a number of residents from Dara Park in Newbridge have vowed to protest outside Kildare County Council’s office if on-going issues of sewage and flooding are not resolved once and for all.

Several residents met with the Leinster Leader at the Dara Park Resource Centre last Wednesday to refute the findings of a recent council report which warned that the problem will not be resolved until householders start taking “preventative action themselves with regard to what is being discharged to the public foul sewers”.

The issue of blocked drains was raised at last month’s Kildare Area Committee Meeting when householders were warned by council officials to stop dumping “rags, nappies and grease” down their drains. A report from the Council’s Water Services department said that a CCTV survey and extensive cleaning of the public foul sewer in the estate showed evidence of unsuitable material in many manholes and private connections from individual houses in the estate.“I refute that - how would you flush a nappy down the toilet?” said Joe Burke, of 3058 Dara Park.“We’ve had this problem for 30 years - there were no baby wipes or disposable nappies back then.”Fellow resident Fiona Casey said the foul smell is embarrassing for householders. She claimed it becomes notably worse after a heavy rain fall.

“Three weeks ago the smell was awful,” said Fiona Casey from 2668 Dara Park. “You couldn’t go into the house. I get headaches and a sick stomach and the kids get diarrohea. I put up an small extension but I have always had this issue. It is so embarrassing.”

Caroline Barrett, from 2717 Dara Park, who stopped paying her rent in protest against the flooding in her back yard some years back, claims she still has the same problems.

“I’ve been here since 1982,” she said. “We have the same problem with the smell from the sink and flooding in the back yard for 30 years. I stopped paying my rent because my yard was constantly flooded and it was causing me severe distress. I paid my back rent three years ago but I’ve heard nothing from them since.”.”

Greg O’Connor, who lives at 2656, described Dara Park as an “unfinished housing estate”.

“I have two small children. The council came up to replace a pipe up here and dug up the footpaths and left broken slabs behind. It is an accident waiting to happen there are children playing on broken slabs. We are willing to put in the effort with new trees, and the green, people have pride up here. People think Dara Park is a kip - it is not a kip. Kildare County Council don’t want to do anything and keep saying that they have no money. Where is the money from pay parking going? They need to come down and sort it out. I love Dara Park. It would be a great place to live if the flooding and sewage were fixed.”

Helen Murphy, from 2715 ,had to borrow money from the local credit union to fix issues with her house caused, she claimed, by flooding.“ I had to borrow money out of the credit union for the ground outside my house has subsided and the wall was cracking. I’ve had oceans of floods - 15 to 20 times since I moved in. The roads were never finished from day one. The wall surrounding my house is cracking and I’ve had sewage floating in my back yard.” Jim Monaghan, of 2724, said that promises made by the council concerning the pumping station were not delivered upon. “The pumping station should have a venting tower to alleviate the smell and we were told that this would be done but it has not been done. There are old electricty poles throughout the estate. These were cut with two inch stubbs left and loose wires and there are man holes subsiding in the ground.”

Meanwhile when Hilda Meehan, from 2700, complained to the council about the smell she received 5 litres of Jayes fluid.

“My mother has cancer and I was handed 5 litres of Jayes fluid from the council for the smell,” she said. “We have no communication from the council.”

A detailed statement from Kildare County Council to the Leinster Leader said that signifcant resources were applied a number of years ago to resolve the sewerage and flooding issues in Dara Park but added that the Wastewater Operations Department “will continue to deal with such blockages as they arise”. Meanwhile, it also stated, regarding the lake, that the council had “no records of any complaints nor is there any history of pollution. However in the interests of caution water samples will be taken from the lake this week and sent to an independent laboratory for analysis.” Some of the works carried out recently in the estate include: sewerage problems in the Willow Grove area of the estate addressed; a CCTV survey of sewers carried out, which is currently being examined; derelict site being cleaned out and boarded up under Derelict Sites legislation; the Environment Department carried out improvement to a green area to relieve impacts of anti-social behaviour.

The statement asked that any road or wall maintenance issues be reported to the Kildare County Council area engineer.

“It is acknowledged that there are issues to be addressed in Dara Park and the council would be pleased to meet with the residents association.”

- Paula Campbell