Split over St. Patrick’s Park, Rathangan, plans as residents slam anti-social claims

Residents of St. Patricks Park, Rathangan.
Two families living in St. Patrick’s Park, Rathangan, have voiced their support for the controversial plans to knock down 44 houses to replace them with 22 new homes as part of E9.4m redevelopment plans for the estate.

Two families living in St. Patrick’s Park, Rathangan, have voiced their support for the controversial plans to knock down 44 houses to replace them with 22 new homes as part of E9.4m redevelopment plans for the estate.

Margaret Sullivan and her daughter-in-law Janet, have slammed claims by other residents that there is no anti-social behaviour in the estate.

“In the four years myself and Mark have been here, we have had fireworks put through our letter box, a wooden plank with nails in it put across the road, our windows have been broken, they have been egged.

“Our bins were robbed just last week and on the same day, a guy on a motorbike was speeding in the estate and came off the bike near me, and he went one way and the bike went another way. I was afraid of my life. I can’t think what would have happened if there were kids out there,” explained Janet.

Kildare County Council have been promised money from the Department of Environment to redevelop the estate with part of it being knocked down and rebuilt including the destruction of six vacant units.

Some residents have expressed wishes to move from St. Patrick’s Park, others are willing to move temporarily and then move back when the new houses are built. There are some who want to stay in their homes.

Margaret Sullivan has been living in St. Patrick’s Park for almost 29 years and she is delighted that something is finally being done with the estate.

“I don’t see why they are giving out. I have been given the option to move back in here and it has been explained to us. The council have given us all the information. We went down to the meetings and we asked all the questions and they told us all about it. We have had regular newsletters, they have been keeping us updated all along. The only thing we don’t know is when it is going to happen,” stressed Margaret.

She pointed out that there was still anti-social behaviour in the estate with people driving quad bikes around the adjacent field and setting fires. She said that illegal dumping was still going on in the field. The Sullivans also explained that the back lanes, which run between houses, are not overlooked and that is what is causing a lot of problems.

The residents who want to stay said they were comfortable walking through the estate at night. However, both women said they would not feel safe.

“The council are going to build the houses in such a way where there will be no blind spots, we will have side entrances and that will lead to less problems,” added Janet.

Janet said she wouldn’t allow her girls, who range in age from ten to one a half, out in the estate and prefers to have them play in the back garden. She is delighted they will have more green areas to play in the new look estate.

The residents who have declared they want to stay, previously said the people who chose to leave the estate left to go back to their own towns, However, Magaret said those people were not living in the houses that are earmarked to be knocked down.

Meanwhile, the residents who are opposed to the redevelopment met Sinn Fein Laois Offaly TD, Brian Stanley at the estate last week. Eamon Broughan, who is speaking on behalf of those who want to stay, said he had also met North Kildare Independent TD Catherine Murphy. The council has said it is open to meet with any residents who have concerns about the project.