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Sunday 22 September 2019

Residents stay in homes and defy fire safety orders as they say they have nowhere to go

Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The majority of residents in three buildings deemed a serious fire safety risk were yesterday defying temporary court orders requiring them to leave their homes.

Residents of the buildings at Seville Place in Dublin's north inner city said they had no option but to stay as it was too difficult to find accommodation due to the housing crisis.

One mother told the Irish Independent she was not leaving as she feared for the impact temporary accommodation would have on her teenage daughter's education.

She said residents were attempting to carry out repairs themselves and were seeking legal representation in a bid to get the orders overturned.

As many as 63 people, including 15 children, now face homelessness, according to activists who have been assisting the residents, most of whom are foreign nationals.

Dublin City Council said it was not aware of the exact number of people living in the three buildings, 100, 101 and 104 Seville Place.

It said all residents that presented to the council had been "advised of their housing options", but none have taken up any option.

The council secured temporary orders last week requiring residents to vacate the buildings due to a long list of fire safety concerns.

These orders were continued on Monday, but can be challenged later this month.

The buildings were owned by Vincent and Catherine Donoghue, but came under the control of an AIB-appointed receiver, Stephen Tennant of Grant Thornton, in October 2016.

A fire safety notice was served on the receiver in May last year and the council believed necessary works were being carried out.

However, an inspection last July revealed the buildings had been allowed to deteriorate.

Patrick Nelis, of the Dublin West Housing Action group, said some residents had turned down temporary accommodation as it was only being offered on a night-to-night basis and they would have to leave it during the day.

"Grant Thornton should be putting these people up while renovation works are done," said Mr Nelis.

The receiver has declined requests for comment.

Irish Independent

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