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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Concerns at apartment block as building defects uncovered

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 24/02/2014 | 02:30

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Gallery Quay apartments on Macken Street in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / Evening Herald  20/2/2014
The gallery Quay apartments in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers

MAJOR concerns have been raised about an apartment complex after building defects were uncovered following the recent spell of bad weather.

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Housing Minister Jan O'Sullivan has been asked to urgently intervene to address the concerns of residents at the Gallery Quay apartments on Grand Canal Dock in Dublin.

Experts have admitted that up to 60 apartments at the complex "were not built to an acceptable standard" and have suffered from a "sudden and serious deterioration" over the last two months.

One family living in Gallery Quay were forced to evacuate last week after their home was deemed unfit to occupy.

The Tuath Housing Organisation, which owns 60 social apartments, has said urgent government intervention is now needed.

Officials from Tuath met Housing Minister Jan O'Sullivan last week and further "high- level" meetings are now set to take place, according to sources.

Labour TD for the area Kevin Humphreys said: "The most important thing here is that the residents are put first. The problems are causing grave distress and they need to be resolved very quickly.

"This is a legacy issue of poor regulation and the problems are of the utmost seriousness."

Documents reveal that the defects relate to water ingress around the apartment's windows.

Residents have complained that rainwater has continuously been dripping in through the windows which has caused extreme dampness in some of the homes.

Some families have expressed fear that the water will interfere with radiators and appliances.

The developer of the complex, which is made up of both social and private apartments, has gone bust.

Tuath is taking legal action against a number of other parties involved in the development of the apartments.

"The bad weather of the last two months or so has led to increased water ingress and a sudden and serious deterioration in the condition of some social apartments," Tuath chief executive Sean O'Connor wrote in a letter to Mr Humphreys.

"With regret I have to say that the social housing apartments at Gallery Quay were not built to an acceptable standard," he wrote.

Ms O'Sullivan admitted last night that she is concerned about the defects at Gallery Quay.

CONCERN

"The minister held a positive meeting with representatives of Tuath Housing Association on Wednesday of this week," a spokesperson for the minister said.

"The minister shares Tuath Housing Association's concern for tenants and the disruption they have endured.

Following on from this meeting, departmental officials are liaising with Tuath, and colleagues in Dublin City Council, on a technical assessment of potential solutions.

"The minister and the department will continue to engage with Tuath Housing Association and other stakeholders to find a resolution to outstanding issues," the spokesperson said.

Irish Independent

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