Thursday 18 January 2018

North City: Mary's Mansions to get multi-million euro upgrade

Christy Burke
Christy Burke

A Dublin City Council (DCC) report has acknowledged that drug dealing has been a "serious" issue in Mary's Mansions.

The report comes as the north inner city flat complex is to undergo a multi-million euro upgrade.

The report warns that there have been "serious issues" around drug dealing in the complex and the gardai have carried out some operations in the complex recently.

"A number of individuals have been charged in relation to drug dealing and some of these individuals are members of DCC tenancies.

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"A number of tenants from the area have been interviewed in relation to this matter and further interviews may take place once the criminal court cases have been dealt with," read the report.

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The comments were part of a north inner city housing update by DCC.

Last September, gardai carried out a successful undercover operation targeting the sale of highly addictive synthetic drugs in the complex.

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The flats complex was reported to have been used by a gang to sell the synthetic drug MDPV, with dealers claiming the substance was 'crystal meth'.

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However, despite the latest DCC report Lord Mayor Christy Burke, who has worked in the area for nearly four decades, says that the complex can now look forward to a bright future.

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"It's been an area that's had serious anti-social problems there and there are many decent residents there who had to live in fear. I haven't received any indications of anti-social behaviour since gardai went in," Mr Burke told the Herald.

"Mary's Mansions has been overdue for refurbishment for a long time so I welcome the news that it will be upgraded," he said.

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Last February a €300m investment programme for social housing was announced and it is understood that Mary's Mansions will be included in the refurbishment plan.

The investment programme is jointly backed by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The money will be available to approved housing bodies for upgrading and delivering social housing.

Mr Burke said the Mary's Mansions upgrade would take place in three phases and possibly start in 2016.

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"There's a brilliant community in there, hard-working men and women, and they're decent people who need a decent place to live. Mary's Mansions will be turned into a complex of excellence," Mr Burke said.

Fellow local councillor Nial Ring said the garda operation has proved successful.

"There has been an intensive garda operation in Mary's Mansions to address the issue and it seems to have yielded a lot of success," said the Independent councillor.

DCC was asked about what steps were being taken to address the drug dealing mentioned in the report.

"The issue of drug dealing is a matter for the gardai and Dublin City Council works closely with the gardai," said a spokesman for the council.

A spokesman for An Garda Siochana said they they work closely with communities and youth groups which builds strong bonds in local areas.

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