An Irish town has issued an appeal for ratcatchers after being hit by a plague of rats.

Louth councillor Frank Godfrey made the appeal after a young mum in the town of Drogheda had to kill a giant rat in her living room just inches away from her toddler.

Mum Karen Smith has appealed for better public housing for her and her four children.
"This house is an unfit place for children to live," says Karen, who has four children, three with special needs.

"Chloe (11) has eczema and asthma and shouldn't be near rats, Christopher (9) has ADHD, Joshua (6) has autism and I thought little Chloe (1) had been bitten by the giant rat I killed last week."

"I came in from the garden and Megan was crying, and that's when I saw this huge rat and my first instinct was to throw a footstool at him," Karen said.

"I was sure he had bitten her, so I grabbed the stunned rat with the fire tongs and threw him into an old planter. He was dead the next morning.'

Now Councillor Godfrey is calling for the town to hire a ratcatcher.

"There has been a huge amount of building in Drogheda in recent years and you just wonder where the rat population has ended up.

"In the past, the local council had a rat catcher and I think it's time to consider bringing one back," he said.