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Let us stay in area say families in tower flats

FAMILIES in Ballymun's soon-to-be demolished flats should be rehoused in the area, a Dublin politician has said.

He was speaking as Dublin City Council announced the awarding of a €1.1m contract for the latest demolition works at the rundown complexes (right).

Millions of euro has already been spent knocking down the famous Ballymun towers, with the Plunkett Tower the last one standing of the main blocks.



CONCERN

There are also numerous smaller buildings, three of which will now be knocked down by Birmingham-based firm DSM Demolition.

Fianna Fail's Paul McAuliffe told the Herald that the worry among families living in the flats is that they will not be re-housed in Ballymun.

"That is the concern. By and large, (the residents) would want to stay there," he said.

While there are no immediate plans to demolish the Plunkett tower, the community is "working on the assumption" it will be knocked down, Mr McAuliffe added. He said the council had given a commitment to complete the Ballymun regeneration project, which has cost €1bn to date.

The council said the latest works will involve the stripping and removal of hazardous materials and demolition and disposal of the concrete arising from up to three blocks of flats. The buildings are nine-storeys high, eight of which are occupied. There are 96 flats in each block. On the question of why an Irish company was not hired for the work, Mr McAuliffe said European tendering rules mean the council had to offer the contract to the best-value bid.

In addition, there might not be the same expertise in demolishing blocks as there is in the UK, he said.

It emerged a year ago work on the regeneration of Ballymun was in danger of grinding to a halt over spending cuts. The then Government said it could not reassure anyone that money would be available to complete the project.

The city council did not comment when contacted.

comurphy@herald.ie