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Families given until Friday to quit flats

RESIDENTS at a major south Dublin apartment complex were today preparing to move out over fire safety concerns.

The tenants of 68 apartment in The Laurels, Dundrum, are being forced into temporary accommodation -- although many are refusing to take up the alternatives on offer.

There were mixed reactions yesterday, with some visibly distressed and others content with the compensation being promised to them.

Niamh Wyer (28), from Blackrock, told the Herald: "We're not taking the alternative accommodation because we don't know where it'll be. It's a bit upsetting, I've been here for over a year and we picked Dundrum for a reason. I'm going to have to take time off work and make alternative arrangements and box everything.

Lucky

"But I don't think they're taking advantage (of us). I'm happy with what they've offered us. I'm from Dublin so I'm lucky I can go home. Other people have kids and they're from the country so they can't just move home."

The residents have until Friday to leave their homes to allow for three months of remedial works.

It is understood that the tenants will get free rent, and their utility bills and travel expenses paid, while they are living in alternative accommodation.

Dublin City Council, which manages Dublin Fire Brigade, said yesterday: "The receiver (KPMG) has submitted a list of works to be carried out and the Chief Fire Officer is engaged in detailed discussions with each of the other parties involved in the process, namely Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council as building control authority, the receiver and their consultants, with the objective of agreeing the remedial action required to resolve the fire safety issues in the complex, in the shortest timeframe possible."

A spokesperson for DLRCC said preventative measures have been put in place this week including the provision of fire wardens to watch over the complex, to allay the possible fears of residents.

One tenant who wished only to be named as Sarah said she felt the call for tenants to move out was "urgent" and she's relieved that she doesn't own the apartment where she lives.

"We've to be out at the latest by Friday so it's actually a bit more urgent than we anticipated. They offered to rehome us but we're in a three-bedroom apartment with three car park spaces and the place they want us to move to only has one."

Worry

But Paul O'Brien who has lived at The Laurels for a year with his girlfriend said: "If the management company does what they say they're going to do then it'll be a mild inconvenience.

"At the meeting they asked us if we have kids, if we have a parking space. They're going to try and find something close for us and pay our bills and our travel expenses."

And Cyrille Bonnard, originally from France said his "only worry" is that he'll be relocated in a place easily accessible to the Luas because he works in the city centre.

hnews@herald.ie