Grace Fellowship closed over fire risk

Published 26/12/2012 | 14:45

THE GRACE Fellowship facilities at the North Link Retail Park are likely to remain close over the festive season after the latest development in the council's court action against the church.

On December 11, Grace Fellowship pastor Hassan Boyle gave an undertaking at Dundalk District Court to close the building - which houses a school, coffee shop, assembly room and place of worship - after the county council's fire officer there was a 'serious fire risk' to the public.

The council alleges Mr Boyle and the landlords – Kenneth Cumiskey from Blackrock and Raymond Cumiskey from Dromiskin – have failed to comply with a closure notice served in June, starting work without a commencement notice and materially changing the building without a fire safety certificate.

The council's fire officer had previously outlined concerns about insufficient fire separation between parts of the building, where furniture - deemed a high fire risk material - was being stored and the units rented by the Grace Fellowship. In addition, it is the council's case that fire escapes were not adequate either.

Mr Boyle's solicitor Frank McDonnell said work is currently being done and his client had closed the facility for it to be completed.

The case had been adjourned to last Thursday when Mr McDonnell told Judge Flann Brennan that he had been instructed to say the closure would continue until the order is lifted, which could still happen between now and the next adjourn date of January 3.

Council solicitor John McGahon said he understood work was ongoing but the fire officer was not in a position to say that he was satisifed with it as yet.

Judge Brennan adjourned the case to January 3.

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