The devastating blaze at Grenfell Tower in London must serve as a wake-up call for Irish authorities that are failing to address serious fire safety concerns, Dublin Bay North Social Democrats Cllr Cian O’Callaghan said today.

Cllr O’Callaghan said:

“Since their construction during the boom years it has emerged that several housing estates in Dublin and wider Leinster, including a number of timber frame developments, fail to meet basic fire safety standards. This raises serious questions:

  • Why has the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, which has been aware of these fire safety defects for a period of at least 10 years, failed to act?
  • Why have local Councils declined to use their statutory building control powers to pursue developers who have breached fire safety regulations?
  • Why has the Government not yet published the review into fire safety and timber frame developments that was commissioned after the rapid spread of the fire at Millfield Manor?”

Cllr O’Callaghan added:

“This week’s devastating fire at Grenfell Tower must serve as a wake-up call for Irish authorities that are failing to address serious fire safety concerns in Ireland. I’m calling for the new Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Eoghan Murphy TD to:

  • Publish the fire safety review arising out of the rapid spread of fire at Millfield Manor.
  • Establish a Fire Safety remediation scheme similar to the Pyrite Remediation Scheme to assist homeowners.
  • Investigate the failure of local authorities to utilise their building control powers to pursue developers who constructed homes in breach of the fire safety regulations.
  • Introduce a system of independent building control inspection to prevent a re-occurrence of this problem in the future.”

Notes for Editors

  • On March 31, 2015, a fire spread rapidly destroying a terrace of six houses in half an hour in the Millfield Manor estate. According to design standards, it should take about three hours for a fire to spread that quickly. An investigation was launched by the council which found major fire safety deficiencies.
  • In September 2015, the Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, announced a review to “develop a framework for general application” in homes where concerns had been raised about fire safety.
  • A full 15 months after the review was completed, the Government has still not published it.

ENDS

15 June 2017