New fire report criticised for 'not drawing on Millfield Manor blaze'

Cllr Cian O’Callaghan says ‘no learning has been taken’ from Kildare housing estate fire

Eoghan Murphy published the ‘Framework for Enhancing Fire Safety in Dwellings’ on Friday.Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Eoghan Murphy published the ‘Framework for Enhancing Fire Safety in Dwellings’ on Friday.Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

 

A new Government publication on fire safety has been criticised for not drawing on the Millfield Manor blaze which gutted a number of homes in Co Kildare.

On Friday, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy published the “Framework for Enhancing Fire Safety in Dwellings”.

It contains an explanation of the statutory framework governing fire safety, actions that may reduce risk and improve the level of fire safety, and an assessment methodology for professional advisors working in the area.

The department said the document was designed to be of use to both owners and occupants of properties where fire safety deficiencies have been identified or where concerns arise.

However, following its publication, Social Democrats councillor Cian O’Callaghan rounded on what he identified as several shortcomings.

“This framework was developed following a blaze in the Millfield Manor housing estate in March 2015 which destroyed a terrace of timber frame houses in half an hour,” he said.

“It is supposed to prevent similar accidents in the future. Yet this report has not drawn on the Millfield Manor case study and no learning seems to have been taken from it at all.”

Mr O’Callaghan said that following the deaths in the Grenfell Tower blaze in London, it was imperative on the Minister to identify structural deficiencies in the Irish housing stock.

“We need a national fire safety remediation scheme akin to the Pyrite Remediation Scheme before there is a major tragedy and loss of life,” he said.