Residents camp outside ‘deathtrap’ flat complex

by Gazette Reporter
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Residents at a council flat complex in Kilmore, Coolock have taken the decision to move out of their homes, claiming they’re “a death trap”.

They said they do not feel safe in their homes, as large cracks have appeared in the stairwell of their block and the concrete stairwell has begun to move.

Dublin City Council (DCC) put up supports at the bottom of the stairwell in Block 8 of the Cromcastle Court flats after receiving a photograph of cracks in the ceiling from a resident, and group spokesperson, Amy Lindon.

Residents who spoke to Dublin Gazette all said that they are terrified of going back into the flats.

Residents of Cromcastle Court.

Amy said: “There are cracks in all of the flats, not just here at Number 8. When I took the photograph and showed it to the council, they got a shock and had to move quickly.”

DCC senior executive in the Housing Maintenance department, Frank Darcy, and Robert Buckle, DCC senior engineering executive, addressed the residents last Thursday at the complex, providing them with updated information.

Buckle said: “From an engineering point of view, the first thing I want to say is that the staircase, with the props, is 100% safe. It can’t move with the props in place, and as long as they are there, the staircase won’t move.

“We got an independent consultant engineer out here last Friday and he suggested we prop the staircase, and it’s fully safe.

“We have another engineering firm that are going to provide us with a report … and we will get the materials needed to complete the job.”

However, this was not acceptable to the angry residents, who demanded nothing short of proper housing, as they had no faith in the words of the council officials.

One said: “None of us want to live in a building site, and it’s getting worse. You need to come into our homes and see the cracks in the walls – it’s terrifying. We want out of here.”

The under-fire council officials vowed to return to the residents within three weeks with a definite plan of action.

Local representatives, including Deputy Sean Haughey (FF), Cllr Edel Moran (SF), Cllr Larry O’Toole (SF) and Cllr John Lyons (PBP) were in attendance at the meeting.

Deputy Haughey said: “The residents have been very badly treated and they are genuinely concerned. It’s very important to get the report from the structural engineer as soon as possible and a programme of works be put in place immediately.”

Amy told Dublin Gazette said: “I really feel this is a death trap and we feel unsafe going back in.

“We want the whole building checked out – not just the stairs. We intend to stay here outside, come rain or shine, until the 100% guarantee is provided to us,” she said.

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