Priory Hall apartments: What went wrong and what can we learn from this?

Sunny

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Have to say it is a shocking story that I struggle to get my head around but I was very impressed with the judge in the case for not allowing the council and developer pass the buck at the expense of the residents. How was this ever allowed to happen?
 

RonanC

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It has happened all over the country. Developers cutting corners and making huge profits. Fire safety certs are issued based on planning applications, not on the final build, unless any changes were made to the plans. The developers would have had their own structural engineers, and it looks like they ignored the problem. The blame lies solely with the greedy developers and they should be locked up.
 

Sunny

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Not to this extent. I find it hard to believe there is signing off and issuing of fire certs without inspection? Are you sure it is based on plans? Forget bad bank regulation. That would be criminally insane regulation. Who are the professional engineers and architects who signed off on this?
 

thedaras

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And who is going to pick up the 200k tab for the unfortunate residents who have to stay in a hotel room for 5 weeks??

Very distressing for families, I couldn't believe my ears today when I heard a woman on the Joe Duffy show ,saying she had to pay to have her stuff removed from the apartment..That is beyond belief..they should not have to pay a penny for anything involved in this fiasco,in fact they should all be compensated for the upset to their lives..
 

truthseeker

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What happens if the building works fail to bring the properties to a safe standard - are these people all stuck with their mortgages anyway? They will never be able to sell those properties, even if they are repaired, after all this they are so devalued that no one sane would touch them.

Who is paying for the remedial works? And the tab for staying in a hotel?

Somebody, somewhere signed off on these properties, its an absolute disgrace.
 

RonanC

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I find it hard to believe there is signing off and issuing of fire certs without inspection? Are you sure it is based on plans
From Dublin City Council website
How does the Fire Safety Certificate process work?


  • An application is submitted to the Building Control Authority
  • Valid applications are date stamped and an acknowledgement stating date of receipt is sent to the applicant. Where an application is incomplete and therefore not valid , the Building Control Authority may request the applicant to submit the necessary documentation to enable the application to be validated.
  • The application is examined technically for compliance with the 'Fire' part of the Building Regulations.
  • Where it is considered that additional information or modifications are required to the application, the officer examining the application may request such additional information/modification from the applicant.
  • A Fire Safety Certificate will issue to the applicant as soon as possible after all required additional information has been submitted.
  • The Building Control Authority must notify the applicant of the decision on the application within two months of the application date or within such extended period of time as may be agreed between the applicant and the Authority at any time.

Will Dublin City Council inspect and certify my building when it is finished?

No. You should employ your fire safety consultant to oversee the fire related issues of the works. When the works are finished, you should request a certificate of compliance from your consultant. This should certify that your building has been constructed in accordance with the Fire Safety Certificate and the Building Regulations.
A Fire Safety Certificate is granted based on the design and information submitted.




There are apartment blocks up and down the country that are far worse. My father is a recently retired senior Fire Officer with Dublin Fire Brigade. He has told me several cases of entering a building and not being able to find fire escapes, exits blocked, doors locked or leading to a building site. Fire protection missing, minimal fire proofing between units, basically all that is between one apartment and another is a piece of plasterboard.
 
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Sunny

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Thanks for that. That's mental. Why are the council inspecting it now and telling people it is a death trap if they didnt care when the complex was being built and finished? Who are these experts you are supposed to hire? There would be no insurance if nothing was signed off so someone signed off on it.
 

RonanC

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I'm not 100% sure how the issue came to light. Was it the council? What is DFB? Was is a structural engineer looking at the building for a potential buyer? Was it a resident/owner?
 

horusd

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There was serious verbals (including the comment that the builder couldn't build a snowman), in the Court lobby. Apparently the builder lives on Ayslebury Road but was remonstrating with the owners about how hard his life was. I bet that went down well.

The judge did put it up to the council to re-house people with young kids, but practically I don't see how they can do that in a few days. It will entail bumping others off a housing list of 8000 or so.
 

RMCF

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This one example sort of sums up all that is wrong in this country.

Those at the top were supposed to regulate ans sign off on the plans, building work, completion etc.

But of course, no-one is responsible now and its the little man in the street that suffers and has to pick up the cost and suffer the pain and inconvenience.

Shocking. But not surprising.
 

NOAH

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apparently the building started to deteriorate from day one and after watching the first part of the frontline I can see how it happened.

The numbers of people, who would be regarded as the professions, involved in the construction of that building is shocking but the fact they got it so badly wrong is in a word - worrying, no not worrying, its disgraceful and shameful.

noah
 

Leper

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The only reason this story made front page headlines is that it happened in Dublin. If this happened in say Limerick, it would never have made even page 10.
 

Sunny

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If it happened in Leitrim, it would have made the headlines. Even the High Court Judge said this has never happened in modern Ireland.
 

Bronte

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If a firm of architects have signed off a fire safety certificate that is false are they not liable ? Don't they have insurance for such eventualities.
 

Shawady

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One wonders if it's just the tip of the iceberg.
How many more Priory Halls are there out there?
 

thedaras

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If a firm of architects have signed off a fire safety certificate that is false are they not liable ? Don't they have insurance for such eventualities.

Taken from the article posted by Sunny;

"When asked whether the council would now inspect apartment blocks built during the boom, a spokesman said it couldn't comment due to the ongoing High Court case.

Under the current system, architects sign off on fire safety for developers, based on a visual inspection, backed up by statements from the developer and subcontractors.

"Architect Stephen Oppermann said yesterday his firm -- Oppermann and Associates, based at Foley Street in Dublin 1 -- carried out a visual inspection of Priory Hall after the apartments were finished.

"It is a visual inspection," he said. "I'm not going to get out a hammer and break a hole in the wall."
 

terrontress

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I'm not 100% sure how the issue came to light. Was it the council? What is DFB? Was is a structural engineer looking at the building for a potential buyer? Was it a resident/owner?
The council was looking to place some social housing tenants in to them and when they did their inspection prior to committing to them they realised that they are deathtraps.

Interesting how mortgage payers can live on in blissful ignorance of their predicament and it is only those receiving their home off the state who get assured of a safe place to live!
 

micmclo

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There were houses built around Dublin in the thirties and still standing strong today, Marino is an example and not that far from Priory Hall

I can look out my window at the ex council houses in Ballyfermot built in the fifties and they're looking well

Some say the best built houses are council houses, built to last.

So much for progress, we're going backwards with standards and regulation :(

DCC discovered the issue and are picking up the hotel bill, they better sue someone, DCC are broke as it is
 
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