Thursday 27 October 2016

'We may have to take legal action over costs', say residents

Longboat Quay residents spokesman Michael Ingle outside the Dail
Longboat Quay residents spokesman Michael Ingle outside the Dail

The owners and residents at Longboat Quay will take legal action on Friday if they are forced to pay for remedial works to resolve fire safety issues.

They were speaking following a "supportive" meeting with Environment Minister Alan Kelly at Leinster House yesterday afternoon.

The management company and residents said they will go to court if the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) and the receiver do not increase their offer to cover the cost.

One resident, Michael Ingle, refused to comment on the form of legal action they would take.

He said they outlined their position to the DDDA last Friday and have given them seven days to respond.

He added the offer from the DDDA is "unacceptable".

"If no meaningful response is forthcoming, then we may have no option but to go to court.

"The DDDA is the owner of the development, and we have strong legal advice to this effect.

"This is not a problem of our making. It's not our fault," said Mr Ingle.


While the residents welcomed the meeting with Minister Kelly, he did not offer any State funding to solve the issue.

Mr Ingle said that "no particular funds" were mentioned during the hour-long meeting.

He said the minister was going to bring the DDDA closer to the table and get them to have "a little think" about their current position.

"He is very supportive of our situation, and is determined to help us to find a solution.

"He really understands our problem and doesn't want to see the residents going through the stress that is being placed upon them," Mr Ingle added.

Mr Ingle also said the receiver owns 18 apartments in the development which could be sold to pay for the works required.

A spokesperson for Minister Kelly would not comment further on the meeting.

The residents have been told that €4m is needed for remedial works or they will face eviction.

A fire notice has been served on the building and Dublin City Council (DCC) has set a deadline of November 1 for the safety works to start or the residents will have to be evacuated.

DCC chief executive Owen Keegan has already warned that the local authority does not have accommodation available if the residents are evacuated.

Speaking at a council meeting on Monday night, Mr Keegan said it was "blindingly obvious" there was nowhere to house the residents.

"We don't have 300 units of accommodation available. We are pushed to the limit to access accommodation for the existing homeless," said Mr Keegan.

He also confirmed that Dublin Fire Brigade did not conduct any post-construction inspections and that certification was based on design.

Speaking during the council meeting, Sinn Fein councillor Chris Andrews said he believed Longboat Quay is just the "tip of the iceberg" and that a full audit should be conducted on all docklands developments.

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