20 people staying at Dublin premises described as potential fire safety danger

20 people staying at Dublin premises described as potential fire safety danger

Up to twenty people are staying at a Dublin City centre premises described as a potential fire safety danger and a risk to the general public as well as those living there, the High Court has heard, writes Ann O'Loughlin.

The people have been staying at a property located at 24 Mountjoy Square, which incorporates the premises known as 24 Charles Lane in Dublin 1, over which a fire safety notice was issued last August.

This week lawyers for Ms Anne O'Dwyer of Duff & Phelps, who was appointed receiver over the property in March, launched proceedings aimed at securing vacant possession of the property, on ground including that the fire safety notice has not been complied with.

The action is against the owner Mr Christopher Singh and TWI Textile Machinery and Fabric Company Ltd, which partially occupies and operates from the Mountjoy Square premises.

It is claimed Mr Singh of Lisnacree, Castleknock Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15 is a director and the sole shareholder of the company.

The matter came before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan at ysterday's (fri) sitting of the High Court. The judge was informed by Nevan Powell Bl for the receiver an inspection carried out on the building earlier that day had revealed that eight people, four adults and four children were living in an upstairs bedsit.

In addition up to 12 people had been staying in the basement of the premises, which the court was told may be offered as accommodation on Airbnb.

His client has been unable to get possession of the building and seeks an injunction against the owner and the company requiring them to cease trespassing on the property.

Vincent P Martin Bl for Mr Singh told the court steps have been taken so the building is fire safety compliant.

The court heard from Fire Safety expert John Greaney, hired by Mr Singh to take steps to ensure the building complies with all fire safety regulations.

Some measures have already been carried out he said, adding that he believed that all required measures could be completed within seven days.

Karen Denning Bl for Dublin City Council said while the council was not a party to the receivers proceedings it was there to assist the court.

While the Council Was not seeking orders from the court it was her client's view the building should be evacuated, counsel added.

Mr Justice Gilligan said the court "could not stand idly by" given that a fire safety notice has been breached.

The Judge said he also had to take into account that there were 20 people who were not party to the case who faced the prospect of being put on the street.

After hearing evidence from a fire safety expert on behalf of the receiver and a senior fire officer with Dublin City Council the judge said he was adjourning the case to Tuesday.

He said that in the meantime fire wardens are to be put in the building by the receiver.

They will monitor the building 24 hours a day and are to remain in communication with the Council fire officers, the Judge said.

The parties were also to meet to discuss the situation. The Judge also said the building could no longer be offered as accommodation on AirBnb.

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