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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Full fire safety review of high-rise buildings

Eoghan Murphy TD. Photo: Tom Burke
Eoghan Murphy TD. Photo: Tom Burke
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has ordered a full review of high-rise buildings across the country in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The minister has tasked the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management with co-ordinating a high-level task force to lead Ireland's re-appraisal of fire safety.

The preliminary survey of the use of cladding products on residential buildings over six storeys being undertaken by fire services in Dublin is to be extended to the rest of the country and to cover buildings in all categories over 18m in height. Local authorities have also been directed to review fire safety in the multi-storey social housing sector and to report back to the department by July 19.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has been requested to notify all landlords of their responsibilities and obligations as landlords in terms of ensuring that their properties fully comply with fire safety requirements.

Speaking after the latest co-ordination meeting Mr Murphy said: "While preliminary work shows that there are no situations in Ireland directly comparable to Grenfell Tower, we must learn the lessons and take appropriate and balanced action to continue to minimise the probability of a large-scale fire tragedy occurring in Ireland".

Mr Murphy said that he will update his Cabinet colleagues on the post-Grenfell Tower situation and highlight the implications of fire safety responsibilities.

Yesterday, the youngest victim in the horrific fire in London was named as five-year-old Isaac Paulous.

The inquest into Isaac's death opened yesterday and heard how his body as discovered on the 13th floor. He had become separated from his family while they tried to flee the burning building.

A total of 79 people were killed, with just 19 identified so far. A further 386 people have been placed in emergency accommodation for fear of the safety of other buildings.

Irish Independent

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