herald

Thursday 29 September 2016

Demolition to start within weeks on fire-hazard city flats

Carol Wolfe from O’Devaney Gardens flats is one of the residents who have vowed to block the demolition plans
Carol Wolfe from O’Devaney Gardens flats is one of the residents who have vowed to block the demolition plans

The demolition of the first O'Devaney Gardens blocks is due to be completed in three weeks - putting a stop to a number of dangerous fires in the flats.

People setting deliberate fires in the flats had been "fuel loading" them in a bid to maximise the damage caused, it appears.

After a fire in June, four gas cylinders were removed from a ground flat by Dublin Fire Brigade, local Fine Gael councillor Ray McAdam said.

The fact that there have been no injuries to date in the flats is "more down to luck than design", he added.

For this reason residents are supportive of the demolition, despite concern being raised about the next phase of the works.

The two unoccupied blocks of flats will be torn down in the coming weeks, following approval for the planning permission given at a special meeting of Dublin City Council.

People who are living in the remaining two blocks - which are due to be demolished in September - have vowed to block demolition of those buildings if suitable accommodation is not found for them.

Residents told the Herald recently that the offers of housing they have been given are too far from their current homes.

Independent councillor Christy Burke insisted that the Housing Manager "immediately purchase ten temporary apartments" for the nine families currently at the blocks.

"This is about people's lives. I grew up living in blocks, so I know what it is like. Ask anyone here to go live at these apartments and they will out right refuse. Anyone would.

"The conditions are appalling," he added.

Meanwhile, a proposal by the new Lord Mayor, Brendan Carr, to award US President Barack Obama the freedom on the city was pushed back after it sparked a heated debate.

It will now be August before it is decided whether or not to honour him.

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