Six Mountrath residents took matters into their own hands over the weekend to clean up shocking illegal dumping at a vacant property in their housing estate.
The site of illegal dumping at 41 Rushall, Mountrath drove landlord Lynus Breen to threaten to knock the house down with a digger to find out who owns it.
After reading Mr Breen's story on leinsterexpress.ie and sharing it in their residents group on Facebook, a group of six women living nearby stepped forward to take matters into their own hands.
Shauna Delaney, Teresa Fleming, Shelley Brophy Yeomans, Rowena Lalor Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Nash and Nicolette spent over three and a half hours cleaning the site.
They sorted and bagged the rubbish, recycled what they could and put the rubbish into their own bins with the help of Pat Cawley Property Maintenance who took five bags.
Shauna Delaney was one of the residents who had enough of the dumping which was going on since March at the boarded up house.
“Ninety percent of the rubbish could have been given to a charity shop or reused by someone else.
“There was ten bags of clothes, toys, the mattresses could have been given to a homeless shelter,” she said.
They moved the mattresses inside the house to make the outside look tidier. There are still a number of bags to dispose of in the coming days.
Ms Delaney said searching through the rubbish was 'disgusting'.
"There was a lot of bottles and cans, it was disgusting because there was rotted potato peel and nappies. The tyres are still there, the mattresses had to be put into the house.
"We saw the article and thought 'this is really getting bad now'. I have to move out in two months so I am not even going to live here but I still wanted to clean it up," she said.
While cleaning, Ms Delaney said they found an official letter with the name and address of someone they know from Mountrath buried in the rubbish. They have handed this letter over to Laois County Council.
Independent Cllr James Kelly said it is a pity that the residents had to put themselves at risk.
“I want to say very well done to them. It is a pity we have to wait on local residents to go in on private property.
“It is a health and safety issue and Laois County Council should be able to respond quicker but they are tied down with red tape.
“It is a pity it had to come to this with people putting themselves at risk but it was out of total frustration and worry for the young families in the adjacent houses,” he said.
Before it was cleaned up by residents, Cllr Kelly said the dumping had 'gone completely out of control'.
Cllr Kelly said he is still pursuing the matter with Laois County Council.
"I am chasing this full on," he said.
Laois County Council Environment Department said “it is not considered appropriate to comment in relation to an ongoing investigation”.
Pictures BEFORE the clean up.
Pictures AFTER the clean up.