Deal worth €3.1m agreed to remedy Longboat Quay defects

Agreement to be put to apartment owners but funds cover projected fire-safety work

A €3.1 million settlement to finally resolve fire safety defects identified almost two years ago at Longboat Quay apartment complex in Dublin’s docklands has been reached.

Dublin City Council will contribute €1.85 million and receivers to developer Bernard McNamara's building company Gendsong will pay €1.25 million to fund the repair works under a deal that will be put to apartment owners on Monday.

The money will completely cover the estimated €2.5 million fire safety work that must, under the orders of the city’s chief fire officer, be completed by next May. The remaining money will be used to cover legal costs and to fund work needed to the roof, which is separate from the fire safety issues.

It is understood that the owners of the 299 apartments, built by Mr McNamara in the south docklands in 2006, will not have to make any contribution to the fire safety costs.


However, they may have to pay a levy towards the roof repairs, as the final cost of this work, which only emerged as an issue this year, is not yet known. Owners of apartments bought under the affordable housing scheme will not have to pay for the roof repairs, as their share will be covered by the council.

Affordable housing

The council’s involvement in the matter arises from the transfer of powers and responsibilities to it from the former Dublin Docklands Development Authority. The authority had owned the common areas in Longboat Quay and had an interest in the 37 apartments bought under the affordable housing scheme.

Concerns over fire safety in the complex arose in February of last year. The following October, after repairs it had sought were not carried out, Dublin Fire Brigade issued a fire safety notice ordering that work, including the installation of a smoke ventilation system and fire-stopping materials, be done.

The following month the council and the receivers offered to part-fund the work, but the Longboat Quay management company rejected the offer as inadequate. Mr McNamara offered to undertake the fire safety work needed “at cost” but that offer was also rejected.

However, it is understood the costs submitted by Mr McNamara for the work contributed to the council and receivers securing lower estimates for the job – originally expected to cost more than €3.8 million – from other suppliers.

Negotiations continued throughout this year, with the final deal now agreed with the management company, which will present it to owners on Monday for ratification.

The management company said it would “strongly advocate a yes vote and do so with the full backing of our legal advisers”.

A majority of the owners must vote in favour for the deal to be secured. If it is, work is due to start in January and be completed by April.

“From the outset our priority has always been to achieve a comprehensive and fair solution to this distressing situation that we have found ourselves in. We believe we have now achieved this objective,” the management company said.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times