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Report into fire that destroyed 6 Kildare houses finds remaining homes not compliant with regulations

The report looked at eight houses still occupied in Millfield Manor.

Six family homes were destroyed in the 2015 blaze
Six family homes were destroyed in the 2015 blaze
Image: Eamonn Farrell

A REPORT INTO the safety of a Kildare housing estate after a fire gutted six of its houses in 2015 has found neighbouring homes that are still occupied are not in compliance with building regulations.

The report expresses concern about the potential spread of fire between homes, mentioning a lack of fire stops.

It highlighted poor workmanship and improper joining of plasterboard to separating walls in attic spaces.

The blaze two years ago spread across six hours in just 25 minutes. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

Reacting to the report today, Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin called on the government to meet with and support the residents of Millfield Manor in Newbridge, Co Kildare, where six family homes were destroyed in 2015.

The Department of Housing report examined eight houses that are currently occupied. Ó Broin said it has raised fear among residents about whether or not their homes are safe.

The report states that works to address these issues should be carried out “in a timely manner”. These works could cost tens of thousands of euros, Ó Broin said.

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?

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Ó Broin called on the Minister for Housing for Housing Eoghan Murphy, “to explain why it has taken so long for residents to be informed of the very serious findings of his report”.

A statement from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to TheJournal.ie said that Murphy had not published the report “based on legal advice”. Ó Broin obtained a copy of the report through a Freedom of Information request.

It said that the department’s recently published report on enhancing fire safety where concerns exist “is intended to be of general application in the interests of supporting owners and residents living in developments where concerns regarding non-compliance with fire safety requirements arise”.

The Department is working with Kildare County Council to estimate costings “to ensure that residents can make informed decisions and seek value for money regarding any potential remediation works to their properties”.

Minister Eoghan Murphy tasked his Department’s National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management with co-ordinating a high-level Task Force to lead Ireland’s re-appraisal of fire safety in the wake of the devastating Grenfell Towers fire in London, with an initial emphasis on multi-storey buildings. 

Read: Companies that own Galway’s G Hotel and Eye Cinema owe €690 million to bank, court hears >

Read: ‘Doing everything we can’: Minister to lead emergency housing summit after death of two homeless people >

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