Saturday 23 September 2017

Dublin home is potential fire danger and risk to the general public, court told

Stock image
Stock image

Tim Healy

Up to 20 people are staying at a Dublin premises which has been described in the High Court as a potential fire danger and a risk to the general public as well as those living there. 

The people have been staying at the 24 Mountjoy Square property, which incorporates the premises known as 24 Charles Lane, over which a fire safety notice was issued last August.

On Thursday lawyers for Anne O'Dwyer of Duff & Phelps, who was appointed receiver over the property in March, launched proceedings aimed at securing vacant possession of the property.

It was claimed the fire safety notice has not been complied with. 

The action is against the owner, Christopher Singh and TWI Textile Machinery and Fabric Company Ltd, which partially occupies and operates from the premises. 

It is claimed Mr Singh of Lisnacree, Castleknock Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15 is a director and the sole shareholder of the company.

The matter came before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan on Friday and he was  informed by Nevan Powell Bl, for the receiver, that an inspection carried out on the building earlier that day had revealed that eight people, four adults and four children were living in an upstairs bedsit.

In addition, up to 12 people had been staying in the  basement of the premises, which the court was told may be offered as accommodation on Airbnb.  

His client has been unable to get possession of the building and seeks an injunction against the owner and the company requiring them to cease trespassing on the property. 

Vincent P Martin Bl, for Mr Singh, told the court steps are being taken so the building is fire safety complaint. A fire safety expert had been hired by Mr Singh to take steps so that the building complies with all fire safety regulations. 

Some measures have already been carried out, counsel  said, adding that he believed that all required measures could be completed within seven days.  

Karen Denning Bl for Dublin City Council said while her client was not a party to the receiver's proceedings and  was there to assist the court,  the fire safety notice had been in place for some time and had not been complied with. 

While the council was not seeking orders from the court, it was her client's  view the building should be evacuated, counsel added.  Mr Justice Gilligan said the court "could not stand idly by" given that a fire safety notice has been breached. 

The Judge said he also had to take into account that there were 20 people, who were not party to the case, faced the prospect of being put on the street.  

After hearing evidence from a fire safety expert on behalf of the receiver and a senior fire officer with the council, the judge said he was adjourning the case to Tuesday. 

He said that in the meantime fire wardens are to be put in the building by the receiver. They will monitor the building 24 hours a day and are to remain in communication with the the council fire officers, the judge said. 

The parties were also to meet to discuss the situation. The judge also said the building could no longer be offered as accommodation on AirBnb.

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