Longboat Quay: Public money to fund repairs at firetrap apartments

Public money is to be the main source of funding for the repair and upgrade work to be undertaken on the privately owned Longboat Quay apartment blocks, which were found to be a firetrap last year.

Longboat Quay: Public money to fund repairs at firetrap apartments

The Irish Examiner understands that the Dublin Docklands Development Authority has forwarded money to the management company at Longboat Quay to conduct an extensive survey and costing of repair work, which is expected to run into millions. The upgrade of the fire alarm system has already cost over €750,000, nearly all of which was financed by the public body.

The Irish Examiner last month reported on the structural deficiencies in the building. It was constructed in 2006 by the developer Bernard McNamara, whose company has since gone into receivership. Apart from a dangerously inadequate alarm system, the building is understood to be highly deficient in the areas of fire walls and smoke vents, both of which are vital components of fire safety. The full extent of the deficiencies will only be known after the survey is completed.

Residents were allowed to remain in their homes only after Dublin Fire Brigade agreed the deployment of fire marshals in the buildings on a 24-hour basis would alleviate the immediate threat.

The upgrade of the fire alarm system is complete, but the major remedial work required is expected to be a long-term and expensive project.

Correspondence seen by the Irish Examiner includes a letter from the DDDA to management at Longboat offering a loan to cover the survey required before the work can get under way. Sources close to the project suggest management and apartment owners will be pushing for the DDDA to cover the full cost.

As the block was constructed in the area under DDDA control, the public body is nominally still the owner of the common areas within the apartment blocks.

The DDDA is currently being wound down after legislation to abolish it was passed last year.

The management company at Longboat wrote to residents and owners to outline the situation, following a report in the Irish Examiner. One of the main concerns among residents who had spoken to the Irish Examiner was that such little information was forthcoming about the situation.

In the letter, owners and residents were told: “The wholly unacceptable position these defects have placed us in has caused concern and frustration for all of us at Longboat Quay.”

It said the alarm system was nearly complete, and the survey on structural works would soon get under way.

“Once the exact scope and scale of the remedial works is known and the costs determined, we will hold a further meeting to share this information with owners.”

Read more of today’s news here

More in this section