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Sunday 4 December 2016

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: 'I won't ring developer Bernard McNamara about Longboat Quay'

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Developer Bernard McNamara

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has said he will not ring developer Bernard McNamara about fire safety deficiencies at the Longboat Quay apartments.

The Dáil was told today that “residents are living night after night in fear of fire or evacuation” at the complex in Dublin’s docklands.

Around 900 residents are facing potential evacuation after Dublin Fire Brigade issues a fire safety notice giving them until November 1 to start fixing defect.

READ MORE: Minister calls for a criminal probe into 'firetrap' controversy

The repair bills could amount to nearly €20,000 each apartment.

During Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach to contact Mr McNamara who built the 299 apartments in 2006.

She said that while the residents were living in fear “Mr McNamara is rebuilding his property empire”.

READ MORE: Council 'can't house Longboat residents'

“Will you as Taoiseach bring all responsible parties around the table to foot the bill,” Ms McDonald asked, before adding that Mr Kenny has  “very thoroughly washed you hands of this situation”.

In response Mr Kenny said the development was the result of “poor standards of the so-called Celtic Tiger”.

“We need to get to the bottom of this,” he said.

BernardMcNamara .jpg
Bernard McNamara

Mr Kenny noted that Environment Minister Alan Kelly met with residents this afternoon but indicated that he would not contact the developer directly.

“You want to say on your instruction that I rang him up,” he told Ms McDonald while deny that he was washing his hands of the issue.

READ MORE: Jim O'Callaghan: Law needs to make building firms liable for defective work

He said that case was not as simplistic as she had presented and there were questions for the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, Dublin Fire Brigade and the Management Company.

Mr Kenny said the residents should “not be required to live in these very stressful conditions”. But the case was complex.

“There are other cases in the system that could be more complex than this,” he said.

Ms McDonald raised laughter in the Dáil when she asked her fellow deputies if any of them had a number for Mr McNamara so that she could give him a call herself.

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