Cllr Deirdre Donnelly outside St Laurences Maisonnettes
Cllr Deirdre Donnelly outside St Laurences Maisonnettes

There is a call for clarity over the future of the row of maisonettes in Stillorgan, some of which have been boarded up for the last few years.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Councillor, Deirdre Donnelly (IND) said the situation at St Laurence’s Maisonettes is “scandalous” in the midst of a housing crisis.

She told Dublin Gazette: “It is absolutely scandalous that these homes remain closed when we have so many people on the housing list.

“A number of these units have been boarded up for years and I was informed by DLRCOCO officials in 2016 that the entire block was in the process of being de-tenanted.

“I met with the last remaining occupants at that time and they were offered alternative accommodation.

“I put a motion on the agenda for the local area committee late last year requesting the refurbishment of the units and that they would be offered to people in desperate need of a roof over their heads.

“I was told that there were long term plans for the entire site and that a much larger number of homes would be built.

“This would also include the development of a new library which of course would be very welcome in Stillorgan since the current facility is one of the most used in the county,” said Cllr Donnelly.

Cllr Donnelly expressed concern for the future of the site following a recent comment the chief executive made about capital funding for the local authority.

“The chief executive, Philomena Poole, was asked at a council meeting about the future of specific projects that were earmarked for capital funding following the DLRCOCO takeover of Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

“She replied ‘If there is a significant impact then I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that we would have to relook at the capital projects. And I can’t say that the ringfencing nature of any major capital project that is not in contract will be certain.”

Cllr Donnelly said it was the first time she heard of any capital project being in jeopardy.

“I immediately became concerned about the library site. If the new
library and proposed housing development will not go ahead or if there is even a hint of uncertainty, then I really believe that the maisonettes should be refurbished and offered to people on the housing list.

“The capital funding that was approved earlier this year includes the housing project and the library, so I am very confused at this stage. “If this is now contingent on the harbour it may be some time before we have news about the future of these projects.

“I think that this is totally unacceptable that this building with 16 housing units remains boarded up if the future of the site is so uncertain.”

Cllr Donnelly added she would like to see the units refurbished and offered to the public who are in “desperate need of housing”.

“The weather is getting colder and it is totally outrageous that these units remain vacant, with no clarity on the funding for the long-term plans on the site.

“I am concerned that someone could freeze to death overnight sleeping in such inadequate accommodation. I am therefore asking the chief executive for answers on what is an absolutely scandalous situation,” concluded Cllr Donnelly.