Longboat Quay apartment complex may be evacuated

Residents say dockland authority committed to contributing to €4m needed for works

The residents of Longboat Quay say they have a commitment from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA), and from the receiver to the construction company, that they will contribute to the €4 million required to fund fire safety works.

More than 600 residents of the 298 apartments built by developer Bernard McNamara on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay face the possibility of evacuation from their homes on the orders of Dublin Fire Brigade if a proposal to carry out the work and generate the necessary funds is not presented by Thursday.

The complex was built by Mr McNamara in 2006, but his company Gendsong subsequently went into receivership. Residents were told on Tuesday that they needed to pay up to €18,000 each in order to fund the work or face receipt of a fire safety notice, which empowers Dublin Fire Brigade to evacuate the building should it see fit.

Richard Eardley, a resident and director of the Longboat Quay Management Company, said Dublin Fire Brigade was “aware of the funding issues” and that the levy on residents would be put to a vote once a proposal from the receiver and the DDDA was presented.


Resumption of talks

Talks between the parties continued into last night and were expected to resume on Thursday with a view to avoiding the serving of the fire safety notice. Speaking last night, Mr Eardley said he expected a proposal by the end of the week but that the management company was “trying to accelerate” the process.

“We know – we anticipate and we’ve been told – there will be a contribution from the receiver and the DDDA, but until we know what that is we can’t put it in front of the residents,” he said. “They were to have something to us by the end of the week, but obviously, with the pressure on tomorrow, we are trying to accelerate that.”

If the fire safety notice is served, it would not necessarily mean residents would be evacuated. Mr Eardley said the notice would effectively “compel the various parties to implement the plan and start the works”.

Ultimate sanction

He also said that in the event the funding is generated, it may be possible for the work to be carried out while the residents are in situ. “People being moved out of their homes isn’t imminent,” he said. “One would imagine there are a series of steps the fire brigade would go through before taking that ultimate sanction.”

Dublin Fire Brigade said last night that it was “continuing to engage with the management company”.

The DDDA did not respond to a request for comment, while Mr McNamara could not be reached.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter