'Strong smell of urine' found near Taoiseach's office by pest controllers

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Digital Desk Staff

A vixen frequently spotted in the vicinity of Merrion Street appears to have left her mark on Government Buildings, where pest controllers detected “a strong smell of fox urine” in a room close to the Taoiseach’s office.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Sam the Fox came to public attention on social media after making a number of appearances near Leinster House during government formation talks last June, and has also been photographed elsewhere in the city centre.

It appears that she may have paid a visit to the Department of An Taoiseach in the course of her travels, likely gaining access through one of 72 access points that were identified by an environmental company in October 2019 as being so big that “wildlife larger than a rat could easily fit through”.


Records released under freedom of information laws show that pest controllers were struck by a strong smell of fox urine in the department during a callout in response to the discovery of a dead rat under a raised floor in the building in September 2019.

Distinct odour

The distinct odour was detected in a cable room beside the “comms room” in the Taoiseach’s department.

The pest control company recommended that a “thorough deep clean” of the area be carried out.

A “strong smell of urine” was again detected less than a fortnight later, but this time rodents were blamed for the stench, as it was traced to an area with “a high level of rat droppings” next to a dry goods store in the building.

Rodents were a recurring problem in the Department of An Taoiseach, according to the pest control reports, while pigeon fouling “next to the ministers’ entrance” was considered a “disease risk and safety hazard” for people in the area.

Mice were detected in both a ground-floor kitchen and the kitchen adjacent to the Italian Room, where “constant open food sources on surfaces” were blamed for the infestation.

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