Family quits home over fire danger

Joseph Simpson, of Tara Green, Ballymoney, Co Wexford, who is part owner of a property located at Kelly's Row, Dublin.

The owners of a Dublin property have consented to a High Court order requiring the residents, including a mother and her four young children, to evacuate the building due to “serious” fire safety concerns.

Dublin City Council sought the order in respect of a building located at 3, Kelly’s Row, Dublin 1, and including 20, Dorset St, in Dublin’s north inner city, which contains several flats.

Family quits home over fire danger

On Thursday, the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, granted an application by the council, to serve short notice of the proceedings on Frank Chatham and Joseph Simpson, owners of the property,

Yesterday, when the matter returned before the court the judge was informed the owners were consenting to the order sought by the council.

One of the owners, Joseph Simpson, who represented himself in court, said that while he had no problem with the order being made he disputed some claims made on behalf of the council.

He said he rejected claims including that nothing was done by the owners since they were served with a fire safety notice prohibiting the use of the flats in March.

He said arising out of that notice he and his co-owner asked the tenants to leave the building so they could comply with fire safety requirements, and they had stopped collecting rent.

However, he said the tenants remained on the premises. He also rejected claims the owners had refused to return deposits paid by the tenants. He said before they stopped collecting rent, arrears had built up. He also said the tenants had been offered €600 each to leave. He also said the flats had been vandalised.

James Connolly SC for the council said Dublin Fire Brigade officer Thomas Daly had in a sworn statement to the court said a letter had been given to the residents of the four flats telling them the risk in the event of fire was so serious the premises were unsafe and should be evacuated. Persons were present at three of the four occupied flats, counsel said.

Mr Justice Kearns in granting the orders prohibiting the use of the premises for accommodation purposes said the health and safety of the residents was the court’s primary concern.

The judge in reference to the provision of alternative accommodation for the tenants said that he did not want another Priory Hall on his hands. The matter was adjourned to next week.

 

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