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Minister Murphy must step in to support Millfield Manor Residents – Ó Broin

1 September, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to step in and support the residents of Millfield Manor, Newbridge, Co Kildare. The call comes after the Department of Housing released to Deputy Ó Broin a January 2016 survey into eight occupied houses in the estate where six houses were destroyed by fire in 2015 confirming significant building and fire safety defects.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Since the fire in Millfield Manor in 2015 that destroyed six family homes, residents in the estate have been living with enormous uncertainty and fear. They simply want to know whether their homes are safe and if not who is going to take responsibility for remedying the defects.

“Today, I received a copy of an inspection report into eight occupied properties in Milford Manor under Freedom of Information from the Department of Housing. The report was carried out in January 2016 and commissioned by the Department of Housing.

“It found that the houses ‘were not in compliance with building regulations’ in six specific areas including fire stopping, separating walls and cavity barriers at openings. These are precisely the kinds of defects that would have led to the rapid spread of the fire in 2015.

“The report also stated that all remedial works should be carried out ‘in a timely manner’. The cost of such works is likely to run into tens of thousands of euros.

“Serious question now have to be answered. Will the developer and builder responsible for these defects be held accountable for their defective work? Who will pay for the remedial work that is clearly required? Will other houses in the estate be surveyed? Are there other developments with similar defects? What action will be taken to ensure that such building compliance failures can never happen again?

“Given that this report was conducted 21 months ago and has been with the Department for at least six months, the Minister also needs to explain what action he intends to take to assist the residents. I would urge him to meet with the residents as a matter of urgency and to support them financially in remedying the defects. He also needs to explain why it has taken so long for residents to be informed of the very serious findings of his report.

“I will be raising this issue with Minister Murphy when the Dáil resumes later this month. Given that there may be other estates built during the boom years with similar problems, I will be asking the Minister to outline a plan to deal with the broader issue of building defects that holds those responsible to account and assists residents with the costs of making their homes safe.” 

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