Thursday 22 August 2019

House being used as hostel for around 13 people near Dublin city centre lacking in proper safety measures, High Court hears

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin

Tim Healy

Dublin City Council says a house being used as a hostel for around 13 people is lacking in proper fire safety measures and should be vacated immediately, the High Court heard.

The house, at Ossory Road, North Strand, at one stage housed 19 people in a number of bedrooms mostly containing bunkbeds, the court heard.

The council is seeking an order that it be vacated against Austin Smithers as the person in control of the premises. It is not against Jacqueline Smithers, who is the registered owner and is currently resident in a nursing home, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan was told.

The judge granted Conleth Bradley SC, for the council, permission to serve the proceedings at short notice following an ex-parte (one side only represented) application. The case could come back to court on Thursday because of its urgency, he said.

Earlier, Mr Bradley said the council inspected it on May 8 last and Mr Smithers was given some time to vacate it but this had not happened.

A fire officer who carried out the inspection found the was a lack of fire protection measures and escape routes including no fire doors and an unenclosed stairs to the bedrooms.

Mr Justice Noonan said given the council knew about the matter for five months, he was going to give Mr Smithers an opportunity to address the court before deciding on the order sought.

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