Security Fears at Cambridge Court

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The murder has left Cambridge Court (pictured) with an obvious sense of shock but has also increased concerns about the complex’s lack of security.

“The security is non-existent in here,” said Willie Murphy a spokesman for the residents at Cambridge Court. “We’ve complained on numerous occasions about people having open access to the whole premises, anybody can walk in here and walk around the whole place and knock on any door. It has happened that people have been attacked.”

Before the killing of Thomas Horan, there had been a number of robberies and attempted muggings within the complex. In one incident Paddy Rogers, a former resident of the complex who has since passed away, was approached by two thugs only to stop the mugging by striking the assailants with a mug of tea. There have also been reports of non-residents regularly using the complex’s facilities, including the washing machines.

These incidents, according to the residents, highlight the ongoing need for extra security in the complex in the form of security cameras, a 24-hour security guard, or a swipe system on the gate that will be easy for residents to use.

“We need cameras in here, we need an electronic gate where you can buzz up to the flat. We’re too open here,” said another resident of the complex, Billy Burke. “We have no security at all, anybody can walk in here at night, which they have.”

Dublin City Council built Cambridge Court in 1985 to house the local elderly population. An original document, announcing the opening of the complex, says how it was designed to create a pleasant living environment for its residents.

Residents at Cambridge Court are heavily critical of Dublin City Council’s management of the complex with particular criticism of the senior community officer with Dublin City Council, who oversees elderly residential complexes in Dublin.

“The City Council, who are they? Who are the City Council?” said Billy. “They do nothing, absolutely nothing, we’re the forgotten few, they put us in here and that’s it.”

Other residents, such as one who simply goes by the name Louie, have turned to blogging to critcise the council on a number of issues including their reaction to the recent killing of Thomas. “Since the death of Thomas Horan, not one single council official has called out to check on the welfare of the tenants of Cambridge Court. If there is some tenant who is not coping, they will just have to cope alone,” he said.

Willie Murphy said that the only communication any of the residents here have with council officials is through a representative of the council who comes and knocks on the doors to make sure everything is in working order. Each resident gets the chance to write down any problems they may have for the apparent attention of the council. “The City Council makes no contribution whatsoever, it would seem they deliberately ignore the people,” concluded Willie.

By Liam Cahill