Sunday 25 February 2018

Longboat Quay row to enter courts amid legal action on firetap flats

Longboat Quay in Dublin
Longboat Quay in Dublin
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Residents at the firetrap Longboat Quay apartments are appealing the safety notice that means they will have to be evacuated if €4m repairs don’t commence by the end of the month.

The management company at the development on the city’s south docks have confirmed that the appeal has been lodged and the case is set to come before Dublin District Court for an initial hearing on November 3. A further court date is set for later that month.

The legal action effectively delays the feared evacuation as the squabbling continues over who will foot the bill for repairs to the complex built by one of developer Bernard McNamara’s firms.

It has been reported that legal action is also expected against the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) as early as tomorrow as residents continue to argue that a sum it has offered towards the repairs is inadequate.

Residents have been told they may face shelling out thousands of euro of their own cash for the repairs.

They rejected a €2.75m DDDA offer - made in conjunction with the receiver to the McNamara’s firm Gendsong - as not enough. It includes €1.25m already spent on installing fire alarms.

According to an Irish Times report DDDA interim chief executive Paul Clegg yesterday told city councillors that legal action on the matter by the Longboat management company is imminent.

Read more: Longboat Quay developer Bernard McNamara: ‘Nama poached my staff after crash’

“We have received notice from the legal advisors of the management company that our offer was unacceptable and legal proceedings would be issued this week - Wednesday has been mentioned.”

The DDDA control common areas at Longboat Quay and also has an interest in dozens of apartments sold under the affordable housing scheme.

Mr Clegg said the expected legal action is “a source of regret to us” and acknowledged that residents bought their properties “in good faith” and don’t want to have to have to pay for the repairs themselves.

But he said: “We can only make an offer based on the resources we have”.

It was previously reported how Dublin City Council has ruled out using cash from the Local Property Tax to fund the cost of all the fire-safety works.

It was revealed last week that Environment Minister Alan Kelly wanted to channel a portion of the tax proceeds towards the repair works.

A Council statement said that while officials sympathise with the residents, using the property tax take is “not an option” due to what it said is a low level of funds from this source that are available to the local authority to spend at its discretion.

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