Images taken by Alan Finn, and they show various subjects including units at Tor an Ri, Meile an Ri, & Burgh an Ri, Lucan Co Dublin.
Having winning awards of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland in 2004, for their designs, what we are witnessing today is a far cry from 2004.
This three peice of development consists of ( Meilie an Ri, ( Burgh an Ri, ( Tor an Ri, ) which is just of the Clondalkin border, and within the Lucan border, Dublin City Ireland.
When these estates were just plans the hope that these would become an urban village, giving local residents the chance of employment, and providing the community with community services.
Today almost 12 years later instead of this urban dream, we are looking at an urban nightmare. Most of the 400 units have very bad problems with mould, dampness, and sewage. Also other problems include the electrics, the plumbing & the heating, frames around the doors and windows.
Outside the units roads that were laid with pavestones and other materials is opening up causing big holes to open up, paving stones could be seen from a distance been off in balance with sections of the roads dipping, then rising back up.
On Thursday 14th & Friday 15th July 2016, Prime Bling, your favorite online digital webpage news feeder, travelled up to this estate, to follow up reports on these conditions.
I randomly parked my car and approached local residents to ask them if they had any problems, in their homes. All who I asked had something to add to what we already knew.
I visited some units on Tor an Ri, I was brought into a sitting room and shown a damp patch on the ceiling, the resident, a mother of six informed me, that she had the ( SDCC ) South Dublin City Council, out looking at this problem, workers from (SDCC) informed this mother of six, what she could see was not damp, but some form of grime and dirt, they even suggested to her, to get a brush and brush it away.
By looking at this wet patch on the lady’s ceiling if anyone went near it with a brush or anything the ceiling would come crashing down. This mother of six also feels that the council are not even helping her with other issues involving inside and outside her house.
In her kitchen the presses are falling apart, and their fixtures are actually falling off the kitchen press doors. Outside she shows me an area where a door actually blew off its hinges, that houses the gas, esb, meteors, she is very stressed over this as there are also wires exposed, as she has young grandchildren coming to her house.
I was then brought into another house across the little road in an estate called Buirg an Ri, despite the sun, the apartment was very cold.
I was brought into his kitchen and dining area, and it was freezing. It was like been in an ice box, in fact an ice box would probably be a little warmer. There was only one small radiator with no walls dividing his kitchen from his sitting room.
This father of two who lives there also brought me upstairs and showed me into a room that has exposed roofing, the only thing on his rafters was felt, there was no insulation of any type to stop the cold from coming in, or preventing the heat from staying in.
This man also stated that he can pay as much as €70.00 per week on gas in winter for heat as it’s always freezing and it’s impossible to keep the heat in the house in the winter. This man has invited me to go back up to his house in the winter to see just how cold his house does be.
Another man showed me his house and pointed out that there was no air vents, to take out the the fumes from the gas, or to let air in or take out stale air out of the house.
He also pointed out to damp patch that was clearly visible, and attempts to try and conceal it could also be noted under the paint that was covering the walls.
Across the road in Tor an Ri Lawns, two residents pointed out several problems that was very visible from where we where standing. One shower that was in the middle of the road, was caving in, and creating what looked like a mini crater.
According to one of these women there has been plenty of claims gone in against the council over people either falling into the hole, or tripping up. Another section of a the road was coming apart due to paving stones been laid over some tree roots.
It appeared that the tree roots were still living and anytime the roots moved it would take another paving stone with it. I was also shown damp patches on one of the outer walls where one of these women lived, Mother of one, Olivie, showed me where you could see the dampness going up the walls, also beneath her window one could see it was off balanced like a seesaw.
I went on a walkabout around Tor an Ri, and it was like walking on soft marshmallows, the whole estate from the public paths, the roads, and the green areas seemed to be falling apart.
Just off Tor an Ri lawns, there is a green area that is been either forgotten or ignored by the council, they only come up so far and cut the grass, and leave the rest.
I walked out into this area, the grass came up to my knees, also another big problem is there is a phylon on this area, that does not have any kind of fencing around it, to keep the local children from climbing on to it, it does have barbed wire on it at some level but its exposed for children to climb and that can not be a good reassurance for local parents. Another problem from these Pylons are concerns over the radiation that can lead to cancer.
Also because this area is not maintained by the council, it has become a dumping ground, and this is now causing great distress to residents as now they have a very big pest problem. The field has a wall around it, but the wall is no bigger than three feet, and one can easily get over it without any such problems, the wall does not have anything like a wire fence.
It appears that
the residents in these areas, have been put there and forgotten about, anyone I spoke to felt this, they said when they first got their houses they were over the moon, but as time passed their real problems only begun. It gets worse in winter and heavy snowfall or rainfall causes havoc.
Another young family who live in Meile an Ri, in one of the apartments that there are no fire extinguishers in the public stair ways, if a fire broke out they have been informed to seek refuge on their balconies, and wait there till help arrives. Also in the same block another man told me that for some strange reasons, that the screws that were in place in their window frames keep popping out, and he has to replace them with tacs to prevent the glazing from falling out of the frames. He said he is on the transfer list, but he does not want to hold his breath, he points out who would want to move into this place with all the problems, they have. He to invited me to go up there in winter, he said the breeze alone that seems to penetrate the walls would kill you. It’s not just his apartment that’s affected he points out most if not all his neighbours have similar problems. One man only recently moved to the area, he was only in his flat two months and he already had to get the council in to do something with the dampness. Another big problem with Meile an Ri, and Tor an Ri, you can actually smell sewage coming into your kitchen or bathroom sinks. One mother had to leave her house after been flooded with raw sewage, she had to take herself and her children to her mother’s house, which was nearby. The council fixed it somehow, but has so far failed to pay the woman for all the damage done to her belongings, despite a promise to do so.
Whatever the reason is with these estates, the council have no bother about giving them out to people. If a unit becomes vacant the council goes in cleans them up, paint them and give them to new key holders who may not know any better, it’s only down the line that the problems pop up.
We know Gama Construction Ireland was awarded the project to build these 400 or so units. One has to wonder where Gamma sourced their materials from? and was it proper cement, bricks, etc
Could it be possible that pyrite was used in these development?
It appears someone has failed with this development, it’s not like the council don’t know as they too are chasing Gamma.
Also the builders who built these units are now after Gamma Construction Ireland, over wages and conditions.
The builders from Turkey, were brought over to work on these developments, are now locked in a dispute over wages and conditions they had to work in involving this build.
So who is at fault here ?????
Images “Alan Finn.