Twenty people will have to leave Dublin City centre building due to potential fire safety danger

Twenty people will have to leave Dublin City centre building due to potential fire safety danger

by Ann O'Loughlin

Twenty people who had been staying at a Dublin City centre premises described as a potential fire safety danger are to leave the property over the coming days and weeks the High Court has heard.

A woman, her four children and three other members of their extended family have been residing on the top floor of the property located at 24 Mountjoy Square, which incorporates the premises known as 24 Charles Lane in Dublin 1.

Approximately a dozen students have being living in the building's basement, the court also heard. Dublin City Council issued a fire safety notice in respect of the property in August of last year.

Earlier this month 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 grounds including that a fire safety notice has not been complied with the property poses a risk to the residents, neighbouring buildings and the general public.

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

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

Mr Singh, represented by Vincent P Martin Bl, opposes the appointment of the receiver and has also hired an expert to ensure the required works to remedy the fire safety issues at the property are done.

The matter had been adjourned Mr Justice Paul Gilligan on Friday to give the parties an opportunity to reach an agreement in regards the fire safety issues.

When the case returned on Tuesday Nevan Powell Bl, instructed by OSM Partners Solicitors, for the receiver said that following an inspection of the property both client's view and DCC remains that the premises should be vacated.

It was the receivers view that substantial works costing up to €90,000 to make the building fire safety complaint needed to be done.

As well as the residents counsel said as far as his client knows the building hosts enterprises including a textile business, a language school and an office where an individual markets accommodation, and not necessarily the property at Mountjoy Square, for rental on AirBnB.

Counsel said his client had been unable to take possession of the building and had sought an injunction against the owner and the company requiring them to cease trespassing on the property.

Counsel told the court that there had been no agreement between the parties when the met at the building on Tuesday. However following discussions between the parties outside of the court, at the invitation of the judge, counsel informed the court that they had come to an arrangement.

Counsel said it was agreed the family living in the upstairs should leave the building as soon as possible. The students would also leave, counsel added.

Counsel said it had also been agreed that fire wardens, put in the building by the receiver to monitor the building 24 hours a day, will remain in place.

Counsel said the receiver was also making available a sum of money, on humanitarian grounds, that would be put towards the family's costs in getting new accommodation.

Mr Justice Gilligan adjourned the matter to Friday.

The Judge said he was conscious of the situation the family living in the upstairs part of the building found themselves in. The family should be formally informed of the action, the Judge said.

He also directed that representatives of the Dublin City Council's Housing Department attend when the matter returns before the court.

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