herald

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Judge orders family of 12 out of 'fire risk' property

Fire safety notice was issued
Fire safety notice was issued

The High Court has ordered that a Dublin property described as a potential fire safety risk is to be vacated by July 9.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan made the orders in relation to 24 Mountjoy Square, which has been subject of a fire safety notice since August of last year.

The order was made after he heard objections from a Polish family of 12, who wanted to remain and did not want to end up in B&B accommodation.

The judge said that, while he sympathised with the family, who were "innocent parties", the court "could not sit idly by" in regards to a fire safety issue.

The judge said the family, and up to a dozen students who had been living in a windowless basement, had to vacate the premises.

Last March, Anne O'Dwyer was appointed receiver over the property, which is owned by Christopher Singh, of Lisnacree, Castleknock Road, Castleknock, and is used by his company, TWI Textile Machinery and Fabric.

She brought proceedings aimed at securing vacant possession of the property, on grounds including that the fire safety notice had not been complied with and the property poses a fire safety risk.

Humanitarian

The matter had been before the court on a number of occasions.

Yesterday, Nevan Powell said the receiver was prepared on a humanitarian basis to make money available to aid the family in securing alternative accommodation.

Karen Denning, for the city council, said that, following a recent inspection by a fire safety officer, her client's position remains that the building is not suitable for use as accommodation.

Counsel also confirmed the family living at the premises were not tenants of the council, but were on its housing list.

Gerard Murphy, representing the Piela family who lived in an apartment on the third floor, said the family had been living there for a number of years.

Mr Murphy said the family was concerned about the disruption any move would have on them, especially as they have two children in local schools and are settled in the area. Vincent Martin, for Mr Singh, said substantial works had been carried out on the property by a fire safety expert hired by his client.

The judge said that, in light of the fire safety notice remaining in place, the building had to be vacated and could not be used as accommodation.

He was placing a stay on the order requiring the residents to vacate the property until July 9.

The businesses could continue to operate from the building until the matter returns before the court, he added.

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