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Sunday 11 December 2016

Residents of McFeely-built complex living in fear: 'How could a roof blow off, and could it happen again?'

Published 01/01/2016 | 02:30

Developer Tom McFeely
Developer Tom McFeely
Reporter Conor Feehan examines the damage at an apartment in the Aras na Cluaine development in Clondalkin, Dublin Photo: doug.ie

Residents of a Dublin apartment complex built by IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely are living in fear after the roof was ripped off one unit during Storm Frank.

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The entire roof section, consisting of cladding, beams, insulation and plasterboard, of apartment 198 was peeled away from the walls and blown backwards onto the remaining roof of Aras na Cluaine in Clondalkin.

Those living on the top floors are now scared of the possibility that their lives and homes are in danger.

"I have already had trouble with the roof in my apartment which was fixed last summer but the cracks have appeared again where the roof joins the walls in my living room," said Polish national Danuta Szpakowska. She lives on the same floor as the damaged apartment and can see it clearly from her window.

"I now find it very difficult to sleep, especially when the wind is blowing, because I am afraid the same thing could happen my apartment," she added.

"I am nervous now. Maybe all the roofs were built the same way," said Danuta.

Reporter Conor Feehan examines the damage at an apartment in the Aras na Cluaine development in Clondalkin, Dublin Photo: doug.ie
Reporter Conor Feehan examines the damage at an apartment in the Aras na Cluaine development in Clondalkin, Dublin Photo: doug.ie

Across the hallway lives Hirat Kareem and her family.

"I had gone out to the shops and when I came back the fire brigade would not let me in, but I told them I was worried about my children," she said.

"Eventually an engineer said it was safe but I don't feel safe. The kids are all shaking when they hear the wind.

"How could something like this happen, and could it happen again?" she asked.

The Aras na Cluaine complex on Yellow Meadows Road was launched at the end of 2004 with prices for one-bedroom units starting at €215,000 and two-beds from €245,000.

Tom McFeely also built the Priory Hall apartment block which was at the centre of a fire safety scandal 2011. He was a director of Coalport Building Company Ltd between 1997 and 2012. It was dissolved last year.

The management company that now runs the complex was approached for comment but none was forthcoming.

Irish Independent

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