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Saturday 20 October 2018

Social homes facing major delays as builders remove scaffolding over fears 'we won't get paid'

  • Builders remove scaffolding over fears 'we won't get paid'
  • Construction company says 'contrary to rumours we have not been placed in receivership or liquidation'
  • Fears the site in Dunmurray, Co Kildare will 'turn into another ghost estate'
Builders removed scaffolding from the site at Dunmurray Rise two weeks ago as they hadn't received payment
Builders removed scaffolding from the site at Dunmurray Rise two weeks ago as they hadn't received payment
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Construction workers building a social home development have removed scaffolding from the site this morning as they fear "not getting paid for completing the work".

JRS Scaffolding, which is only in its first year of business, was subcontracted to build 32 houses at Dunmurray Rise in Bishopsland, Co Kildare.

They are also constructing 56 social homes in Bray, Wicklow and four apartment blocks in Rialto, Dublin.

However, the directors of JRS now believe the scaffolding will have to be removed from all sites as they fear the company that hired them is in financial difficulty following an email they received on Wednesday.

Kildare County Council and MDY Construction of Staplestown, Naas signed a contract for the construction of the new homes in Dunmurray on March 9 last and MDY subcontracted the work to JRS.

The development is funded by the Government under the Rebuilding Ireland, Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness and it was anticipated that the units would be delivered early in 2019. 

In an email to contractors on Wednesday, the managing director of MDY said: "I acknowledge that MDY has not been a pleasant place to work in recent times. Please note that contrary to rumours MDY Construction has not been placed in receivership or liquidation.

"We have decided to keep the head office and the sites open for the foreseeable future to see how this plays out.

"Please note that for the next two days there should be no materials delivered to the site and/or work completed by subcontractors on site."

Alan Sherlock and John Regan, directors of JRS, said the contract is worth over €500,000 and they fear the site at Dunmurray will "turn into another ghost estate".

"We have 23 scaffolds completed and we were due to terminate our contract in December. The overall development was due to finish in December and we've decided we're taking down our scaffold now and not taking any risk," Alan Sherlock told Independent.ie.

"This is going to be bad for us as it was our first big contract. The company is only a new company. We're trying to buy it as we go along. This is really going to hit us as it looks like other sites are going to have to come down. We're a new company and things are tight at the minute.

"Staff are afraid that their jobs are going to be gone but again we're going to try get new contracts and have them working on other sites. At the end of it, it's something we're going to have to get on with.

"It's disgraceful. It's absolutely disgraceful the way things have gone on [with Ireland's housing crisis]. It's not MDY's fault, it's something in the background, we don't know what it is. It's having a knock-on effect with every supplier, every subcontractor, everyone. MDY want to fulfil the contracts but for whatever reason they can't".

The social houses at Dunmurray comprise six one-bed single storey houses; five two-bed, semi-detached two storey houses; 17 three-bed, semi-detached two storey houses; three four-bed detached and semi-detached two-storey houses and one three-bed house with a one-bed single storey family flat attached.

A spokesperson for Kildare County Council said: "The council is aware that the contractor constructing housing units on our site at Dunmurray Rise, Kildare Town, was not present on site this morning. 

"The council has taken measures to secure the site.  Kildare County Council has not been advised, at this time, that the contracted company is in Receivership."

Independent.ie has contacted MDY for comment.

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