Complaints from neighbours about flat where man was stabbed ‘not listened to’, councillor claims
David Ennis, aged in his late 30s, was stabbed at an apartment in Claddagh Court flat complex for older people in Ballyfermot last night
Complaints from neighbours about the flat where a man was fatally stabbed this morning were “not listened” to, a Dublin city councillor has claimed.
David Ennis, aged in his late 30s, was stabbed at an apartment in Claddagh Court flat complex for older people in Ballyfermot last night. A woman in her 40s was arrested by gardai and is being held at Clondalkin Garda Station.
The complaints were understood to be in relation to “cuckooing”, which is a term used to describe individuals taking over the home of a vulnerable person, often for illegal activities. Fr Peter McVerry previously revealed how drug dealers take over the homes of vulnerable people.
One of the complaints, which was obtained by Dublin Live, said “drug addicts” were living with a resident. It read: “Two of them went into the laundry where a woman was washing her clothes and were falling all over her – she had to leave. This has been an ongoing situation for a long time.
“We have complained repeatedly but nothing has been done.” Non-residents had been staying in the flat during weekends for the last two years with neighbours regularly complaining to Dublin City Council which owns and manages the complex.
The tragic case has similarities to that of Tony Dempsey who was found dead in a flat in Kevin Barry House which had become a “drugs den”. People Before Profit Councillor Hazel de Nortuin told Dublin Live the situation was similar, but not as extreme.
She said: “It wasn’t at the level of where it had escalated a complete takeover. But from what I am hearing, they would go in on a Thursday because they knew the residents would get a pension on that day and had left on the Tuesday.
“It wasn’t completely taken over – it was over the weekend that they would use it.
“DCC, in my opinion, didn’t listen to the residents and didn’t take it seriously enough when they brought up their concerns. It is always very frustrating and very annoying that it has to come to a death or somebody coming near to a death before agencies actually listen.”
Councillor de Nortuin said those “cuckooing” in the elderly resident’s home “trickled in” two years ago and began causing trouble for residents, then it became more intense with “people hanging around” every weekend.
She added: “I hope DCC will listen to us now and won’t wait until these severe levels before they heed our calls for support. Why do they have to get to these levels? It blows my mind.”
A spokesman for Dublin City Council said: “Dublin City Council is aware of an incident at its Claddagh Court Older Persons Housing Complex last night. An Garda Siochana is currently investigating the circumstances. Dublin City Council is not making any further comment at this time.”
One woman who cares for her mother in the complex told Dublin Live she imagines all the residents are “terrified”. She said: “I feel very sad for the residents.
“I care for my mother who is living there, but she wouldn’t know what’s after happening. It’s very scary. For my mother and all the residents, I’m sure they’re all terrified.
“She’s actually still sleeping, and I do tell her to keep the door locked.”
Councillor Vincent Jackson said these elderly residents deserve a safe environment. He said: “This is a group housing scheme for older persons, and people in the autumn years of their life deserve a safe environment to live in.”
“Notwithstanding the serious crime that was committed here a few hours ago, I’m really saddened to think it could happen in an environment where we should be protecting people.”
Cllr Jackson added that the age of the victim and woman arrested means they would not qualify to be residents of the complex. He said: “[The victim and the woman arrested] couldn’t have been residents here.
“Whatever about visiting your loved ones, when I hear of people in their 30s and 40s residing here, I’m only hoping they weren’t staying here. It would have serious consequences for the letting of units like this if they were being cohabited with family members.
“They are specifically ring fenced for older persons. There is CCTV and it is a gated complex.”
A garda spokesman said: “Gardai are investigating all of the circumstances surrounding the death of a man following an incident in Ballyfermot, Dublin on Tuesday the 8th of November, 2022.
“Shortly after 2.30am, Gardaí and Emergency Services attended at a flat in Claddagh Court, Ballyfermot, where a man aged in his late 30s was found with an apparent stab wound.
“The injured man was treated at the scene by Emergency Services personnel but was pronounced dead a short time later.
“A woman aged in her late 40s has since been arrested by investigating Gardaí and is currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Clondalkin Garda Station.”