Tuesday 12 December 2017

Council must 'step up to the table as people's dreams on the line' - Burton

Joan Burton
Joan Burton

DUBLIN City Council should "step up to the table" and work with the fire authorities to resolve the safety defects facing the families living at Longboat Quay.

That's according to Tanaiste Joan Burton, who said the 600 residents invested their "hopes and dreams" in properties at the city complex, which have now been discovered to be fire hazards.

Speaking during Leaders' Questions yesterday, Ms Burton piled the pressure on city chiefs to work with Dublin Fire Brigade to find a solution.

"Those families have invested their hopes and their dreams and it has found to be a fire hazard by Dublin Fire Brigade," Ms Burton told the Dail.

"I think what's necessary is that Dublin City will actually step up to the table and actually work with the fire authority to address the issues, which are very, very serious," she added.

Sinn Fein's Social Protection spokesman Aengus O Snodaigh described the families as "innocent victims of reckless and unscrupulous property developers".

The Dublin South Central TD also alleged that the developer of the complex, Bernard McNamara, "slithered off to England" to escape bankruptcy here.

But Mr McNamara is now back in business and in the process of building a property on behalf of businessman Denis O'Brien, the Sinn Fein deputy alleged. "There's your golden circle once again," Mr O Snodaigh added.

But Ms Burton said she believes an element of "goodwill" shown by the council will ensure a solution can be found. She rejected proposals for legislation in this area because that would take a significant period of time.


"I think they should move to take action as a responsible city authority, working with the fire brigade services, which everyone who lives in this city admires so much, to actually solve this problem," Ms Burton added.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail councillor Jim O'Callaghan yesterday proposed the establishment of a National Buildings Inspectorate to ensure far better oversight of safety standards in new residential developments.

"These problems are through no fault of the homeowners, who trusted that the building had passed inspection and therefore was safe and habitable," Mr O'Callaghan added.

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