herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Fears of another Priory Hall as more families face 'firetrap' dangers

DANGER: Tenants claim they've been 'left in limbo' at apartments

THIS is one of the Dublin city's most dangerous apartment complexes -- and it is currently home to more than 70 unsuspecting residents.

The Herald can reveal that the City Council is preparing to publish an engineers' report into Crampton Buildings in Temple Bar -- which will lay bare the serious safety risks posed to residents.

The flats -- many of which are run down and dilapidated -- are not protected by fire certificates, the Herald has learned.

Major fears have been raised today for the safety of the families living here -- similar to those expressed on the Priory Hall debacle.

And Dublin City Council has confirmed that a number of its tenants have already received offers of being relocated, with the report expected to call for a full de-tenanting of the complex. A spokesperson for Dublin City Council told the Herald: "These apartments do not have fire safety certificates as they date back to the 19th Century.

"The council is currently examining a report which it commissioned and will be briefing residents and councillors within the coming weeks."

The Herald has learned that one of the residents is the mother of Labour Mid-West TD Joanna Tuffy.

Any move to move the flats however will be watched closely by well-known developer Johnny Ronan.

His company Treasury Holdings owns the ground floor, which consists of restaurants and shops.

Meanwhile, a number of residents claimed today that they have not been made aware of the existence of an engineers' report and accused the council of "leaving us in limbo".

However the prospect of moving has prompted a mixed response from residents.

One woman, who has been living in Crampton Buildings all her life and asked to remain nameless, accused the council of "telling us nothing".

"We are completely in limbo. We're hearing that they want us to move out but we've received no official communication on the matter. How can we plan our futures?

"My family has contacted the council about safety issues here on so many occasions. There are apartments here that are so run down. If there was a fire tomorrow, who knows what would happen."

However, Eric Mooney (48), who has been living there for 17 years, told the Herald that unless he is receives a "decent offer" from the council, he will not be leaving.

"I've built my home here. My kids and my partner and I are very happy here. For me, my home is safe and I have no intention of leaving.

"They have offered to get rid of me before but what was on the table was not acceptable for someone with a family. To be honest, the council have left us in limbo for years. They don't treat us with any respect."



Duty

Independent Councillor Mannix Flynn told the Herald that although there are mixed views among residents, "safety must come first".

"The bottom line is, these apartments are firetraps. They have no safety certificates and lives are at risk here.

"The council has a duty to protect these residents and allowing them to live here for so long without coming clean on the clear safety issues raises some serious questions."

hnews@herald.ie

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