Call for action on land at Limerick’s southside

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Cllr Ger Fahy at the Toppins Field - he wants to see development on the site
CITY residents are bringing vans full of litter and dumping it at Toppins Field, it has been claimed.

CITY residents are bringing vans full of litter and dumping it at Toppins Field, it has been claimed.

The 14-acre patch of land near Rathbane has been derelict for the last 15 years, and can only be used for the building of houses.

It has left the site a haven for dumping, and vermin, Cllrs Ger Fahy and Kieran O’Hanlon say.

Members have called on manager Conn Murray to prepare an action plan to address Toppins Field.

Cllr Fahy has called for the setting up of a horse project in the area, or failing that, small business units.

This, he said, would eliminate the “depression” of local residents who have to put up with anti-social behaviour, large rats running around and dumping.

He also argued it would provide City Council with an income from the site in the form of commercial rates - neutralising the cost of sending out wardens to get the site cleaned on a regular basis.

“Rats are causing major problems at Toppins Field for so many years. Unfortunately, the City Council has done very little updating on it. Massive rats are running all over the place: they are getting over walls and running into houses in Rathbane,” Cllr Fahy reported.

“There is a lot of illegal dumping and litter. This money could be spent elsewhere.

Fianna Fail councillor Kieran O’Hanlon said a plan is not enough.

“I want action on it, and not a plan. Both horses and goats are grazing on this land. Residents come with JCBs and dig holes to put rubbish in there,” he claimed.

Fine Gael councillor Diarmuid Scully, who jointly signed the motion for an action plan with Cllr Fahy, said: “We need to do something. It is extraordinary we do not have a plan. There has been enough talk about this.”

For his part, director of service for housing Oliver O’Loughlin said: “We need to sit down and try and deal with it.”

Early in 2011, Toppins Field was the subject of a proposed supermarket development.

It was rumoured at the time that Tesco Ireland was seeking to move to the site.

The then city manager Tom Mackey tried to change the city development plan, which would have cleared the way for the giant to move.But the plans came to nothing, when councillors decided against changing it.