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Sunday, 7th July 2019

Feud attacks adding to homelessness – Bell

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A burnt out house at Rathmullan Park - one of the houses destroyed in the Drogheda drugs feud.

Mayor repeats his call to gang leaders to meet with him

Mayor of Drogheda, Councillor Paul Bell, has highlighted the plight of families forced out of their homes by the ongoing Drogheda drug feud and has appealed once again to those carrying out violent attacks to stop immediately. He has also repeated his willingness to meet the gang leaders to seek an end to the violence.

Bell raised this issue of the burnt out houses at the July meeting of Drogheda Borough saying that there are now nine homes severely damaged or totally destroyed following attacks connected to the feud.

He said that most of the families attacked have no direct involvement in the feud and can only be described as “soft targets”.

Mayor Bell also confirmed that it will be some weeks before these families will be in a position to return to their homes.

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“The mechanics of addressing these issues are complex and require money with the costs of repairing the damaged homes ranging between €15,000 and €30,000.

“Council homes are insured for structural damage and once the insurance assessor makes the decision on how much money will be issued in each case, Council or the tenant are left with the remaining funding liability which can be as much as 15% of the cost of the repairs”.

With Council confirming that no monies are available to meet the shortfall Mayor Bell has appealed to Government to assist with relief funding.

“The fact is that the home maintenance budget is fragile and cannot meet the ongoing maintenance requirements and as such due to the uniqueness of the situation in Drogheda I have appealed to Government to give relief funding to Council to assist with the shortfall and so tenders for the work can proceed.

“I am also to make the point that Council tenants who find themselves in such a situation are by the terms of their tenancy obliged to continue paying their rent which is also causing hardship for them” said Bell.

Bell once again called on those leading the feud to consider taking up his invitation to meet with him for the purpose of bringing these violent activities which are hurting communities throughout our town to a close.

“As Mayor it is not for me to judge anyone. But I have a duty to the citizens of our town to do whatever I can to reach out to those at the centre of these violent activities in an effort to persuade them to cease their actions” Bell concluded.

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