Bernard McNamara in talks to finish Longboat Quay safety works at public cost

The developer of Longboat Quay, Bernard McNamara, is in negotiations to complete the fire safety work required at the development using public money.

Bernard McNamara in talks to finish Longboat Quay safety works at public cost

The Irish Examiner has learnt that negotiations are at an advanced stage for Mr McNamara to be awarded the contract to complete the works despite being the developer whose company built the original building, which Dublin Fire Brigade found was lacking proper fire safety measures.

There is currently a fire safety order on the building — the first step towards evacuation unless safety works are completed — although Dublin District court has put a stay on the order.

Mr McNamara is understood to be offering to do the work at cost price without any profit margin. However, questions will be raised, not least by some of the owners in the 298 apartment and duplex unit development, about the original developer being contracted with public money to do remedial work on a building which his company had constructed.

The works, which were initially priced at €3.88m may now be completed for a figure not much above €2.5m, which will be provided by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.

Mr McNamara has been in talks with Michael Slattery and Associates, the fire safety consultant retained by the authority whose report led to Dublin Fire Brigade seeking a fire safety order on the building. The two sides are attempting to reach agreement on how to get the work done for a price less than originally envisaged. If negotiations are successfully concluded, it will mean the owners in the development do not have to pay for any of the remedial works.

Since last September, the owners have been in a stand-off with the authority over who will pay the €1.2m balance between what the authority offered to put up and the estimated cost of the works. The management company, on behalf of the owners, launched a legal action against the authority last October. However, if a deal is brokered for Mr McNamara to do the works, it is envisaged the legal action will be dropped.

Last December, Mr McNamara wrote directly to the residents, claiming that the problems in the building were greatly exaggerated, and offering to complete necessary works for €1.5m.

However, since then he has engaged with the authority’s consultant Michael Slattery, and is now understood to accept the required works are much greater than he had originally claimed.

A spokesman for the authority said it had no comment.

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