Construction work at the new Tesco is not to blame for a reported ‘rat infestation’ - according to the HSE.
The HSE undertook a site report in Wednesday and found no issues with the site.
Precision Construction, who are responsible for the Tesco, have told the paper of their anger at suggestions that their site was the source of a apparent rat infestation t in the local area.
“This alleged rat infestation has absolutely nothing to do with our site, and we were very disappointed to see it publicised,” says Declan Flood of Precision Construction. “The accusation wasn’t even put to us.”
A press release issued by Cllr Jennifer Green said that it seems the construction operation has disturbed various rats’ nests causing them to spill out on to Thomas Street, Vincent Avenue and surrounding areas.
However, a few hours after it was released an update was issued that said: “Jennifer Green was contacted by Precision Construction Ltd who is on site on the Dublin Road. She was told that the company have had a firm doing surveys on the site since March 2013 and there were no health and safety issues or infestations uncovered. They proceeded with the demolition.”
Mr Flood told the paper that the HSE have undertaken an inspection which completely exonerated the site.
“ As we expected the HSE found no problem whatsoever with the site.”
Precision Construction have worked on many Tesco projects, and resultantly their anti-rodent policies are extremely strict.
““We have been on site since last March and one of our first jobs here was to bait the site and eliminate any possible rodents issue. Also, our pest control contractors visit the site every week and to ensure no rodent activity is taking place.
“The thing is that our site policies regarding rodents, and we implemented these years ago. For example if a worker is found eating outside the canteen twice, they removed from site for three days. Fizzy drinks are also not even allowed on site for the same reason. When you are working with a food business, this area is a priority.”
Mr Flood, who is from Dundalk, has said that he questions if there even is a genuine rat problem.
“The HSE have said any increase in rats is likely to be due to people not disposing of their household waste and illegal dumping of rubbish.
“There certainly is no proof of a problem in the vacinity of this site, be it the Thomas Street area or along the Ramparts.”
Speaking this week Cllr Green said: “I completely accept that the site has nothing to do with the rats in the area.
“The HSE, who have been extremely proactive on this, say that it could be the result of household waste dumping.
“I know that there were rats in the roof space of houses along a particularly, and several of those houses’ attics are interconnected.
“While I am glad that we have eliminated the Tesco site as a source, I would be happier if I could go back to the residents with an explanation.
“I have gone around the area and there isn’t any rubbish being dumped,” she continued.
“Could it be as a result of the high tides we had as that area is also served by the Ramparts River?
She concluded: “I was hoping the HSE report would have given us more answers.”