Concerns remain over safety of estate after Nama building demolished


A NAMA-owned apartment block in Longford town was demolished yesterday but people living in other homes on the unfinished housing development remain concerned about safety issues.

The 14-unit apartment block at Gleann Riada in Longford was part of a larger development of apartments and houses.

While the residents were delighted to see the block removed, they said they were concerned about conditions at the estate. In March this year, a suspected build-up of sewage gases resulted in an explosion at one house. No one was injured but the front window was blown out.

One homeowner, Anne Heffernan, was evacuated from her home due to high gas levels on July 10th. After almost a week in a hotel she was moved to an apartment near Longford on Friday.

Another homeowner, Melissa Ganley, has moved her six-year-old daughter Maria to her parents’ home as a result of concerns over gas levels.

Residents handed in a list of questions at Longford County Council yesterday.

Engineer John McNamara, who represents 45 of the 72 residents, described the demolition as “a fantastic day for the residents. It’s the start of a very long process.”

He added: “Today they are demolishing a very, very poorly built structure in an area that is being used for antisocial behaviour, an area that’s got lethal slips, trips and falls for children, so it’s a brilliant day.

“I would have looked at 38 of the 156 in Longford-Westmeath area so far, and of those, a significant number of properties never will be sold.”

Demolition had been delayed by a number of weeks because of nesting housemartins. According to a National Parks and Wildlife Service representative, there were dependant young in the nest so the demolition crew could not move in until the birds were fledged.