Looking back... Councillor calls on Housing Executive to deal with rat colony

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A number of tenants in a Larne Housing Executive estate were demanding a ‘pied piper’ to be brought into their homes to deal with a rat infestation in March 1980.

A colony of rats had spread fear around Loran Avenue and Loran Drive, with some people seeing them in their homes. Residents said that they could hear the rats scraping the rafters of their homes.

Cllr Jack McKee called on the Housing Executive to step in and give the rat infestation problem their “top priority”.

The Democratic Unionist Party representative said that while the rats had not attacked any women or children in the estate, there was a real fear that something dreadful could happen.

He said: “I want a whole investigation into the matter right away. Children could be attacked and there is an obvious threat of disease from these rats. The affected houses will have to be secured. The Housing Executive is going to have to give the matter their top priority as a matter of urgency.”

Larne public health inspector, Trevor Clarke said the responsibility for cleaning up the problem rested with the occupiers of the land, who in this case were the Housing Executive.”