Wednesday 13 December 2017

'We're afraid we'll be forgotten' - Longboat Quay families at Nama protest

city centre

Longboat quay resident's Leana Purdy and her four children  Abigail  (11) Richard (11) Roman (7) and Reagan (1) protesting outside Nama's office in Dublin
Longboat quay resident's Leana Purdy and her four children  Abigail  (11) Richard (11) Roman (7) and Reagan (1) protesting outside Nama's office in Dublin

Residents of Longboat Quay gathered outside Nama headquarters to call on the agency to fund the remedial works needed in their homes.

Some 900 residents in the Docklands development are facing a bill of more than €4m to fix fire safety issues in the complex.

Residents have rejected a joint offer from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) and the receiver of the construction firm Gendsong, who built the complex, to fund some of the works.

They are expected to issue legal proceedings today.

The DDDA made a €2.75m offer in conjunction with the receiver of the firm, which was a vehicle of boom-time developer Bernard McNamara.

This includes €1.25m already spent on installing fire alarms.

It is understood that Nama is funding the receiver's contribution to the offer.

Sinn Fein councillor Chris Andrews attended the protest with residents.

"Residents want the receiver to use the 18 apartments they own to cover the costs of the works," he told the Herald.

"The value of the apartments would more than cover the cost of the works, that's what should happen," he said.

Mr Andrews has repeatedly called for an audit of the buildings in the Docklands to ensure that they are safe.

Nama declined to comment when contacted by the Herald.

Resident Nina Buckley, who can't afford to foot the bill for the works needed in her home, joined protesters outside the Dublin 2 offices.

"We are afraid that we'll be forgotten about and brushed under the carpet," she said.

"We don't want to be another Priory Hall, we just want safe homes. We still don't know what's going to happen or who is going to pay."

The Longboat Quay management company has lodged an appeal against a fire safety notice issued on the building, but Nina said it's not going to help in the long run.

"It won't change anything. The blame is going back and forth, but we just need a solution. We still could be put out of our homes in November or December, we just don't know," she added.

Meanwhile the Grand Canal Dock Residents Association (GCDRA) has urged its members to lobby politicians in support of those living in Longboat Quay.

The association fears that the problems in the development could lead to a "nightmare scenario" for the area.

"This is not just a problem for the residents of Longboat Quay, it is a terrible situation for all residents in the Grand Canal Dock Area," the committee told its members.

"The failure to resolve the issue and the evacuation of Longboat Quay would mean a nightmare scenario for Grand Canal Dock - vacant and abandoned apartments, the closure of local businesses, the loss of employment to the area and the loss of 900 of our friends and neighbours."

The GCDRA extended its sympathy to those affected by the fire safety issues and urged people to help ensure residents are not left to foot any of the bill.

Mr Paul Clegg, interim chief of the DDDA, told councillors this week that he had no "positive news" on the Longboat Quay situation.

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