Homeowner learns from media her house may be acquired for MetroLink

Transport Infrastructure Ireland sent ’vague letter I thought was about noise and dust’

Margaret Gallery and her home on  Northbrook Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin. Photograph:  Tom Honan

Margaret Gallery and her home on Northbrook Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin. Photograph: Tom Honan

 

A woman whose home may have to be demolished because of the planned new MetroLink rail line has accused Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) of behaving “disgracefully” in their contacts with affected homeowners.

Margaret Gallery, who bought her Ranelagh, Dublin, home a year ago and is currently renovating it, said she learned more from an article in The Irish Times than she did from a “vague” letter she received that merely mentioned upgrades to the line.

What was in The Irish Times “isn’t at all what they said to me”, she added. “It said nothing about widening it or about compulsory purchases of gardens or houses.” She received the missive on the day the project was launched last week.

More than 100 properties, including gardens and houses in Ranelagh, a city centre apartment block and Na Fianna GAA club pitches in Glasnevin may have to be acquired for the new line, construction of which is due to start in two years.

TII, which has responsibility for the project, said all impacted householders had been contacted and notified about the preferred route option.

Ms Gallery said “the communication was so vague that when I read the letter I thought MetroLink were warning of potential noise and dust, not that there might be the necessity to sell up and move”.

Poor quality map

The letter included “a poor quality map with a dotted line drawn through my utility room and garage” of her home on Northbrook Avenue, which backs onto the wall of the Green Luas line to Sandyford.

She said that when she contacted the letter writer and the help-line number, there was no response from one and the other “fobbed me off with an invitation to a public forum”.

“I don’t want to go to a public meeting. I want to know about what they are planning to do with my property.”

The IT consultant said “I bought this house a year ago. I was in my last house for 18 years. I did the clear-out thing, rented for a year and am now doing this house up.”

She said she had plumbers booked for a new bathroom, and other changes planned include a renovation that is costing between €30,000 and €50,000 and “I’ve done everything economically” including giving free accommodation to tourists in exchange for their skill.

“The value of the house has increased a lot already. Do I keep going? Do I stop? Do they want my garden? Do they want my utility room? My house?”

When she asked TII should she continue with her renovations “I was told they would get back to me in due course”.

Valuation

She has now got legal advice. “I gave up. I sent all the documentation to my solicitor, I contacted the estate agent to get a current valuation”, and she has been in touch with an architect and an engineer who will accompany her when she finally gets her meeting.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland has been contacted for comment about Ms Gallery’s concerns.

The preferred route of the new MetroLink line, which will run every two minutes from Swords to Sandyford, serving Dublin Airport and the city centre, has been made available for public consultation until May 11th, ahead of an application to An Bord Pleanála next year. The line is due to open in 2027.