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100 and 101 Seville Place, Dublin Sam Boal via
Seville Place

Residents at Dublin properties wish to remain despite being ordered to vacate over fire safety concerns

The judge ruled that the orders previously granted by the High Court are to remain in place.

RESIDENTS OF THREE Dublin properties which the High Court has ordered must be vacated over fire safety concerns, want to be allowed remain in the premises.

Earlier this month, the High Court granted Dublin City Council (DCC) injunctions requiring the residents of premises at 100, 101 and 104 Seville Place, Dublin, which all divided into several flats or bedsits, to immediately vacate the properties.

Inspections carried out by senior fire safety officials at DCC had revealed that the three properties are in very poor repair, and if a fire started in any of the buildings it would spread very quickly.

The risk to persons living in the what are four-story buildings is so serious that their continued use for residential purposes should be prohibited until several serious fire safety deficiencies are addressed, DCC claims.

The majority of the residents are foreign nationals.

DCC, represented by Conleth Bradley SC and Karen Denning Bl, sought orders against the owners of the properties Vincent and Catherine, otherwise known as Kathleen, Donoghue and Stephen Tennant of Grant Thornton who was appointed as receiver over the three properties by AIB Mortgage Banks and AIB in October 2016.

Donoghue previously told the court that he has had no control over the properties for almost three years.

Affected residents

At the High Court today, Justice Micheal Quinn heard an application by lawyers representing some of the residents affected to vary the orders so they can stay in their homes.

Joe Jeffers Bl for the receiver, who is seeking to sell the building, said his client was not contesting the orders.

Counsel said his client does not accept claims that residents at 101 Seville Place have valid tenancies as claimed, and said the receiver has not got rent from the properties since 2017.

Counsel said that it also appeared that the buildings may not have been vacated.

Joe Jackson Bl instructed by solicitor Herbert Kilcline, for a number of residents at 101 Seville Place said that some works have been done to the premises, such as fixing smoke detectors and fire alarms had been carried out.

The building had been assessed by an expert engineer, and it was their case that the rest of the required fire safety works could be carried out without his clients having to vacate their flats, counsel added.

Counsel said his clients had rights as tenants of the property and said while DCC’s motives in seeking the order to vacate the property were genuine it was inadvertently acting as a bailiff for the receiver, and clearing the building.

Counsel said the orders rendered his clients homeless, and offers of alternative from the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive accommodation were not acceptable.

The court also heard that solicitor Cahir O’Higgins was taking instructions from residents at 100 and 104, and required time before they could also seek to have the orders varied.

Vacation orders

In reply, Bradley said that DCC wants the orders previously to vacate the three buildings left undisturbed.

A senior fire officer had again inspected the premises, counsel said.

While the officer had acknowledged that some works had been carried out the buildings should be vacated due to DCC’s ongoing fire safety concerns, counsel said.

Counsel said any issue about tenancies or leases was a matter between the receiver, who counsel said is the controller of the buildings and was in agreement that the orders should remain in being, and the occupants.

DCCs action counsel said was purely about fire safety and what would happen in any of the premises should a fire break out.

The judge noting that the hearing of the application to vary the orders would take some time adjourned the matter to a date in early October when the new legal term commences.

The judge ruled that the orders previously granted by the High Court are to remain in place.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

Aodhan O'Faolain & Ray Managh