City ‘crack house’ just metres from Coppers

by Emma Nolan
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“IT’S very intimidating; you have to keep the eye down.”
So says a local about a derelict house at No 7, Adelaide Road in the city centre, with people in the area describing it as “the crack house”.
This “eye-sore” has been on the Derelict Sites Register since 2009 and, despite the efforts of locals, its condition has deteriorated, with the building becoming a “magnet” for illegal dumping and anti-social behaviour.
“I’ve tried all of our local politicians and none of them have been able to do anything,” a resident from Peter Place told The Gazette.
Peter Place is a cul-de-sac of 28 houses set by the rear of the Adelaide Road house, accessed through the Luas tracks between the Harcourt and Charlemont stops.
Residents have to walk past the so-called “crack house” on their way in and out of Peter Place – a walk that has become increasingly unpleasant as more and more people have been gaining access to the derelict property.
A Peter Place resident told The Gazette: “I don’t know whether people are using it for shelter and squatting in it, or if they’re in there to use drugs, but there are always people climbing in and out of the back window and you can’t avoid walking past it if you live in Peter Place.”
The resident said how it felt unsafe to walk past the house when there are “drunken men climbing in and out of it”.
They added: “I have a teenage daughter, and I’m not happy for her to have to walk past it on her own.”
The Gazette discovered that the property is registered to a David Grant, who was the subject of an RTE Prime Time documentary in 2006.
Dublin City Council failed in an attempt to have architect David Grant jailed for not complying with a High Court order to effectively re-build four Georgian properties at Gardiner Street, having carried out extensive unauthorised works on them a number of years ago.
Councillor, architect and Urban Regeneration and Development lecturer at DIT, Ciaran Cuffe (GP) said that No 7, Adelaide Road is the “perfect case” for the Derelict Sites Act 1990, which states that “a local authority may acquire by agreement or compulsorily any derelict site situated within their functional area”.
Cllr Cuffe told The Gazette: “I feel the council can go further with the Derelict Sites Act.
“Traditionally, we’ve been very cautious in our use of that legislation, and Owen Keegan [Chief Executive of Dublin City Council] did say back at the start of the year that he intended to be more pro-active on these kinds of issues.
“This is a perfect case where we should really be pulling out all the stops to ensure that the dereliction is gotten rid of.”
Cllr Cuffe said he intends to raise the issue of the building in question with the council “to try and ensure that action is taken on this under the Derelict Sites Act”.
Deputy Jim O’Callaghan (FF), whose constituency office is located five minutes away from the derelict building, said it is “unacceptable that houses which are unoccupied are allowed to become derelict and run-down”.
He added: “There is an obligation on the council to ensure that owners properly secure their property so that they don’t become a base for anti-social behaviour.”
Deputy O’Callaghan said he will be contacting the council to ensure that the house is adequately secured. He also added: “The owner is required to face up to their responsibilities.”
DCC had not responded to a request for comment by the time of going to print.

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