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TOWER OF TERROR; Exclusive Families' hell in drug-den block of flats.

Byline: By Chris Musson

HEROIN dealers and thieves are running riot at a tower block where a man was stabbed to death.

But despite the problems, council chiefs are still placing families with children in the nightmare block of flats.

The bloodied body of murder victim Eddie McGonigle, 35, was found outside a dealer's flat in the tower on Monday night.

Tenants in the building in Plean Street, in Yoker, Glasgow, said the killing came as no surprise.

They told how conditions there, and at the nearby twin tower block, have been getting worse for years.

In recent months, they have had to put up with:

A dealer openly selling heroin from the third-floor flat where the murder happened.

Junkies knocking on doors to ask for a fix.

Thieves scaling balconies between floors to ransack flats.

Racist abuse and attacks on asylum seeker families.

Fights, boozing and drug-taking in the stairwells.

Tenant Tricia Dunlop, 29, has three young children.

She said: "We don't feel safe here. No family would. The other week, my 11-year-old boy answered the door to a guy who asked him for drugs.

"Everybody in the flats knows where the dealers are but sometimes the customers come to the wrong door."

The flats at 75 and 55 Plean Street were built in the 1960s.

In June 2007, Glasgow Housing Association decided to raze them as part of the city's demolition programme.

Now, less than a third of each block's 114 flats are occupied.

Yesterday, the association said they stopped moving people in as soon as the demolition decision was taken.

But Glasgow City Council are still placing families there.

Labour MSP for Glasgow Springburn Paul Martin, the party's community safety spokesman, said this was "unacceptable".

He added: "The very nature of blocks under active clearance - lots of empty flats - means they are places where crime can thrive."

But a council spokesman said: "We haven't received any complaints from the people we have housed in Plean Street.

"If any issues are brought to our attention we'll look to address them with the utmost urgency."

CAPTION(S):

KILLED: Eddie McGonigle; TERRIFIED: Tricia Dunlop outside the block of flats
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 11, 2008
Words:359
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