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McFeely flats probe reveals faulty roofs

NEW apartments built by ex-IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely already have rusting balconies and roofs that are retaining water, Dublin City Council has revealed.

In its latest appraisal of Priory Hall in Donaghmede, the council said city architect staff inspected the exteriors and interiors of the social housing blocks seven to 12.

The inspection found that the paving slabs were lifted on a number of balconies "so as to inspect asphalt finishes".

"Sills to balcony doors are so low that sealing at this point is very difficult and has resulted in damp patches within the apartments at these doors.

"In all cases, this covered-up work was found to be unsatisfactory and a comprehensive remedial works programme will have to be carried out to all of the balconies," the council found.

It added that the "railings to all the balconies are not galvanised and are rusting".

"All railings and cladding to the balconies will have to be replaced," the council said.

The inspection found that "some roofs are holding an amount of water indicating that roof falls are the wrong way, away from roof outlets".

"Remedial works will be required to roofs," the report stated.

The homes at Priory Hall in Donaghmede are at the centre of a dispute between Coalport Building Company Ltd and Dublin City Council.

The 187-unit scheme was built by Coalport, which counts former H-Block hunger striker McFeely (60) as a director.



Drastic

The council had originally issued Coalport with a notice to comply with improvements months ago.

However, following an inspection last November, it was discovered that the remedial actions required in the notice had not been carried out.

The local authority then took the drastic decision of telling its tenants they would have to vacate their homes. A later report by the council said Coalport stated in writing to Dublin Fire Brigade that they were committed to completing the necessary works. They were then due to be completed by the end of February.

A spokesman for Coalport told the Herald recently that the company was in talks with Dublin Fire Brigade.

He said the company had "a fire consultant on board" and it was hoped the problems will be resolved "quite quickly".

Mr McFeely, a resident of the upmarket Ailesbury Road district, spent 53 days on hunger strike in 1980.

He served 12 years of a 26-year sentence in the Maze prison for a post office robbery and shooting.

A judge told him in 1977: "I am satisfied that you are a dangerous young man. You are intelligent and vicious and you seem to be glorifying in your activity."

comurphy@herald.ie


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