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Children with respiratory illness awarded damages over damp in council flat

The family ultimately abandoned the property and were relocated by Dublin City Council.

Image: borshop via Flickr

TWO YOUNG BROTHERS and their little sister, who claimed they suffered respiratory problems because of the dampness and unhealthy state of their Dublin City Council apartment, have been awarded damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Barrister Conor Kearney told the court that since siblings Christian (16), Nathan (10) and Macey (6) Preston moved out of their previous home at Carlton Hall, Shelmartin Avenue, Marino, Dublin, in September last year, their respiratory problems have improved.

Kearney said the damp in the apartment had become apparent in 2011 and after the children’s mother, Danielle Preston, made several complaints, Dublin City Council inspected the property and installed dehumidifiers.

Respiratory illness

The court heard that some items which had been destroyed with damp had needed to be replaced by the local authority.

Kearney said the Prestons ultimately abandoned the property and had been relocated at Clanmahon Road, Donnycarney, Dublin, where they now live.

Circuit Court President Justice Raymond Groarke heard that the brothers and their sister had attended their GP on various occasions during 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2014 for treatment for respiratory illness.

Through their mother Danielle, the children sued Dublin City Council for negligence and breach of contract. They alleged the apartment had been unfit for human habitation.

Kearney, who appeared with Blake Horrigan solicitors, said the local authority had made settlement offers of €3,000 for each of the Preston children.

Counsel said that although he found the offers to be low, there may be an issue regarding liability if the cases proceeded to a full hearing. The court heard the damp condition of the apartment may have exacerbated existing respiratory conditions.

Kearney said that it was part of the agreement between the parties that the Prestons would remain in the Donnycarney property rather than returning to their former apartment, where works had been carried out. Judge Groarke approved the offer.

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Saurya Cherfi and Ray Managh

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