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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 19:52 GMT 20:52 UK
Rats 'overrun' city neighbourhood
Ballycastle Court in Belfast has become infested with rats
Residents of a north Belfast neighbourhood have called on the authorities to do more to help them rid their area of rats.

People living in Ballycastle Court have said the area is so overrun with vermin, parents are worried about letting children out to play.

Resident Siobhan Carey said she had caught over 40 rats in her backyard in the past three months alone.

"Every morning we have rats in the cages," she said.

Her neighbour, Eilish Magee, said the authorities have not done enough to bring the problem under control.

She said: "I've had the DoE, I have had everybody out, and they are just passing the buck."

Siobhan Carey
Siobhan Carey has caught about 40 rats in her backyard

Ann Maguire, who also lives in the area, said the rats meant people could not enjoy their homes.

"We have nice homes and we are trying to make them nice and keep them nice and we have nice backyards and we want to keep it that way. We can't enjoy them because of the rats," she said.

The Water Service has used cameras to carry out an inspection of the sewers, but it says there is no evidence to suggest the rats are nesting there.

A statement from the Housing Executive said they were aware of a major rat infestation in the area and have referred the matter to Belfast City Council's environmental health department.

Pest Control officers from the council have treated gullies and drains as a precaution and are continuing to investigate the problem.

See what residents are doing about the problem

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04 May 06 |  Northern Ireland
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