Unflappable DCC rejects criticisms over Seagull House’s maintenance

by Padraig Conlon
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Alleged victim blaming of tenants by Dublin City Council has been described as “lunacy” by a local advocate.

This follows a response from the council to requests made by residents of Seagull House in Crumlin to address a range of issues they raised.

Two months ago, the residents, with the support of Peter Dooley, People Before Profit Kimmage/Rathmines representative, came together and founded the Seagull House Residents’ Association.

Dooley told Dublin Gazette: “The conditions can only be described as disgraceful.

“The tenants are living with damp, mould, overcrowding, rat infestation and other maintenance issues. The health and social implications are massive.

“Seagull House residents, just like many DCC flat complexes all across Dublin, are being deliberately underfunded and run down by Government policy.”

Having made countless complaints to the council individually, it was decided the tenants would come together and collectively try to get their problems sorted.

After forming their residents’ association, they petitioned DCC with a list of demands including to address such issues as rat infestation, mould, dampness, drainage, sewerage, general maintenance, overcrowding and anti-social behaviour.

However, in response, a DCC spokesperson told Dublin Gazette: “DCC rejects allegations that tenants are being neglected in Seagull House.

“We endeavour to respond to issues in our complexes as effectively as possible and are aware that improvements are needed in some of our complexes.

“That is why we are currently undertaking an audit of our complexes, with a view to informing a city-wide plan to deal with issues in our older complexes.”

With regard to general maintenance, they said: “The stairwells are washed down weekly; bins are collected twice weekly; broken bulbs are replaced, and leaks are fixed.”

They also said situations of overcrowding can be sorted by residents applying for larger accommodation.

“Once they are accepted on the transfer or housing list, they will be given a position on that list and will move up the lists as other applicants are housed.”

In response, Dooley told Dublin Gazette: “I reject these comments from the council – they haven’t addressed any of the problems the tenants pointed out.

“After a survey was done in February, the council tried to blame the damp and mould on the tenants washing, breathing and cooking.

“It’s lunacy to blame victims, but that’s what the council are doing,” said Dooley.

He added: “The issues with general maintenance haven’t been sorted either. The stairways are rotten, and there are ongoing problems with flytipping.

“Everyone deserves to live in decent accommodation, not just the privileged.

“This is all part of the Government’s agenda to force low- or middle-earners out of the city centre,” said Dooley.

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