Friday 24 November 2017

Council 'can't house Longboat residents'

DCC boss Owen Keegan
DCC boss Owen Keegan

Dublin City boss Owen Keegan has warned that the local authority doesn't have accommodation space if hundreds of residents of Longboat Quay end up being evacuated over fire safety concerns.

The Dublin City Council (DCC) chief executive was speaking at a meeting where councillors unanimously passed an emergency motion supporting the residents.

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

The meeting was attended by a number of residents of the development, where Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh also raised concern for their future.


"If they (residents) become homeless I don't know what we are going to do ... Surely to God somebody has to take responsibility," Ms Ní Dhalaigh added.

One resident, mum-of-two Nina Buckley, told the Herald she hasn't been able to sleep since the safety fears were raised.

"I can't turn around to my kids and say that everything will be okay, because I don't know if it will be," she said.

"We cannot afford to take out a loan to pay for somebody else's mistakes," she added.

Mr Keegan said that the Dublin Docklands Development Agency (DDDA) has "been proactive" in efforts to address the problem.

"The DDDA and receiver have offered €2.75m.

There is a significant element of the cost which will have to be funded."

Mr Keegan confirmed the offer is sourced by DDDA assets and not DCC money.

Last night, Longboat Quay management company issued a statement saying residents were "bitterly disappointed by the completely inadequate proposals received to date".

"The receiver has indicated it is willing to make a contribution, but we have received nothing in writing," the statement added.

Sinn Fein councillor Chris Andrews called for a full audit of all dockland buildings, claiming Longboat Quay "is the tip of the iceberg".

Mr Keegan added that it would not be appropriate to conduct a full audit of all developments, saying it was the responsibility of the management company.

"Any residents who have concerns should raise it with the management company to get a full audit done," said Mr Keegan.

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