Friday 30 September 2016

Tenants refuse to quit cockroach-infested, fire-risk apartments

Paul Healy

Published 22/05/2015 | 10:16

Damaris Dickenson in her home at Kellys Row at the rear of Dorset Street Lower. Dublin city council sought an eviction order for it
Damaris Dickenson in her home at Kellys Row at the rear of Dorset Street Lower. Dublin city council sought an eviction order for it
Lorraine Donovan with Mary Fleming and Damaris Dickenson outside their home at Kellys Row at the rear of Dorset Street Lower. Dublin city council sought an eviction order for it
Damaris Dickenson in her home at Kellys Row at the rear of Dorset Street Lower. Dublin city council sought an eviction order for it
Damaris Dickenson in her home at Kellys Row at the rear of Dorset Street Lower. Dublin city council sought an eviction order for it

TENANTS who have been ordered to vacate their vermin-infested inner city homes have said they will not leave without a fight.

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Legal action over the evacuation of the residents of 3 Kelly's Row, Dublin 1, due to serious fire safety concerns was resolved yesterday in the High Court.

The case was taken by Dublin City Council against the owners of the property, Frank Chatham, Joseph Simpson and Tara Green.

The four-storey building on Dorset Street includes a retail unit which is not affected by the order.

Residents expect to be moved out of the building today, but some say they will refuse to leave.

Lorraine Donovan (35), who lives in one of the flats with her two sons aged 18 and 16, said she would not leave her home and would barricade herself in if needs be.

kELLYSrOW1.jpg
Lorraine Donovan with Mary Fleming and Damaris Dickenson outside their home at Kellys Row at the rear of Dorset Street Lower. Dublin city council sought an eviction order for it

"I'm not moving," she said. "I can't leave here without all of my clothes, my TV and everything else."

Ms Donovan also said her flat was "in a state" as it is crawling with cockroaches and rats.

She demonstrated how she kills the cockroaches by using a lighter and deodorant spray as an improvised flamethrower.

"It's not just a couple, there are millions of them and they're falling down everywhere and they're even getting into the food," said Ms Donovan, whose apartment was also filled with rat faeces.

Despite the appalling conditions, she said she would rather stay put than move temporarily into a hotel, as offered to her by the council.

She said she wanted a guarantee that she and the other tenants could get permanent accommodation.

Neighbour Damaris Dickenson (32) said she had "nowhere else to go".

The High Court order means the building cannot be occupied until all the fire safety requirements have been met.

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