Saturday 21 October 2017

Apartments occupied for several hours by activists 'will be made available for social housing'

Fire safety issues will not be fixed until the New Year

The Tolka apartments in Finglas Photo via Google maps
The Tolka apartments in Finglas Photo via Google maps

Chai Brady

An apartment complex which was taken over for three hours by housing activists is due to be made available for social housing – after fire safety issues are fixed.

Dublin City Council and Nama agreed that DCC will purchase the 60 apartment complex in Finglas once NAMA carries out remedial work necessary to fix fire safety issues.

The 'Tolka' apartment complex was built on the site of the former 'Premier Dairies' site on Mount Prospect Hill in Finglas, in the north of the city.

The new complex has been vacant for some time and the agreement was reached between NAMA and DCC in December but work will not begin until 2017.

A spokesperson for NAMA confirmed to Independent.ie that work was due to begin on the project in the New Year - but a definitive date for these works has not been confirmed.

The 'Tolka' apartments' were occupied for several hours overnight by activists from a group calling themselves the 'Premier Love Project' .

At 1am on Thursday morning, activists entered The Tolka apartments but left peacefully at around 4am.

The group who call themselves 'Premier Love Project' are not part of the 'Home Sweet Home' group who are currently occupying Apollo House.

The activists locked themselves into one of the apartments, but left the building peacefully at about 4am shortly after gardai arrived.

Colin McGettrick, who was “heavily involved” in the Apollo House occupation, was one of the five people who entered the premises. He says he has been on the housing list for 17 years.

“We have fantastic housing units here which are top of the range. Then there’s people dying on the streets and sleeping in cars and vans. That’s horrific, it really is,” he said.

Damage was done to the front door of the complex which was fixed earlier today.

A Garda spokesperson said: "Gardai were called to an occupation of a vacant apartment block on the Finglas Road in the early hours of this morning. The group left a short time later."

A NAMA spokesperson said that on top of the sale agreement between themselves and DCC, "NAMA has also agreed to pay for additional work on the apartments to improve them and to address Fire Safety issues prior to their sale.  That work was expected to start in the coming weeks.”

DCC said:

“The receiver will in the coming weeks go to tender seeking a competent contractor to carry out the agreed works on all the apartments including our 60 apartments.

"Dublin City Council will then swiftly allocate these remediated homes to families on the housing lists.

"It was not possible or prudent to allocate these apartments until the fire safety matters were fully resolved and action agreed.”

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