Concerns over derelict Roscrea “death-trap”

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Concerns over derelict Roscrea “death-trap” thumbnailThe Maltings at Ayre Hill, Roscrea which has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

A FORMER INDUSTRIAL site located in the centre of Roscrea is currently the focus of much negative criticism after a young man died at the site recently.

The site has also been the scene of several tragic deaths in the town in the last three years and has prompted a chorus of local people to call for the site to be demolished, or made completely inaccessible to the public.

Gardai are investigating the recent death of the young local man and are dissuading everyone from visiting the site, which they say would be of "great benefit to the local community" if made inaccessible.

Located on Ayre Hill in Roscrea and known locally as the Maltings, the industrial site is a long disused mill yard and has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour in the town.

Part of the large former industrial complex is now occupied by Dunnes Stores which is accessed from Gaol Road, however a rear entrance, created for use by construction equipment involved in building the shopping centre, has become a weak point in the site's perimeter, neighbouring residents say.

After construction work on the site finished, the area was closed off and made secure. However, in 2015 emergency services were called to the site after they received reports of a suicide, necessitating the reopening of the entrance to allow emergency response vehicles access the site.

Since then, that rear access has become a weak point and is frequented by trespassers, who have caused alarm among the local community. A cluster of tragic deaths in recent years at the location has prompted the surrounding community to call for action, with some pleading for its demolition on the grounds the site has also become an industrial scar left behind on the town's landscape and an unsightly derelict eyesore.

Evidence of alcohol abuse can be found in several locations at the site and people living nearby claim that groups of youths visit the site at night, which is poorly lit and filled with many hazards.

Local parents are calling for the site to be completely closed off as a matter of urgency, before more tragic events unfold there and the Tribune understands that meetings have been arranged between local representatives and the owner of the property to examine how best the derelict mill can be secured and made safe.

Gardai told this newspaper they are monitoring the site and advised anyone concerned about anti-social behaviour, or anything suspicious at the location to contact the local Garda station and report it.

"Its not a safe place. If you enter the site you are trespassing on private property and we would advise everyone against entering it," a Garda spokesperson said.

A resident living nearby, who also knew a teenager who died at the derelict mill, told this newspaper that the site is "a death-trap."

"We're tired of looking for something to be done about this. How many tragedies have to happen in there before something is done?" they asked.

"They're in there at night-time going wild in there and you can hear them roaring and shouting," the neighbouring resident said.

Roscrea Garda Station can be reached at (0505) 24230.


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