Report finds serious fire safety deficiencies at Kildare estate

The report was commissioned after 2015 fire burned six houses in the estate to the ground.

Report finds serious fire safety deficiencies at Kildare estate

Dramatic night scenes as firemen from the emergency services fight a fire in Millfield Manor in Newbridge in County Kildare, 31-03-2015. Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

Sinn Féin has called on the government to offer support to residents of a County Kildare housing estate after a report found serious fire safety deficiencies with the development.

The report was commissioned by the Department of Housing after a 2015 fire burned six houses in the estate to the ground.

No one was injured in the fire.

The survey of eight homes that remain standing at Millfield Manor in Newbridge found that they are not in compliance with building regulations.

The homes are all currently occupied.

The report was conducted 21 months ago and has been with the Department of Housing ever since.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing Eoin Ó Broin has released the report today after obtaining it from the department.

The row of houses that were burned to the ground in Millfield Manor, Newbridge, County Kildare in 2105. Image: RollingNews

Uncertainty and fear

In a statement this afternoon, Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing Eoin Ó Broin said residents have been “living with enormous uncertainty and fear” since the 2015 fire.

“They simply want to know whether their homes are safe and if not who is going to take responsibility for remedying the defects,” he said.

The survey highlighted serious concern regarding the potential for the spread of fire between buildings.

It noted six specific areas of concern including poor workmanship, penetration of separating walls, missing fire stops, missing cavity barriers and missing cavity closers.

“These are precisely the kinds of defects that would have led to the rapid spread of the fire in 2015,” said Deputy Ó Broin.
 
“The report also stated that all remedial works should be carried out ‘in a timely manner.’

“The cost of such works is likely to run into tens of thousands of Euros.”

Financial support

Deputy Ó Broin called on the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to meet with the residents of the estate as a matter of urgency and explain what he is going to do to help them and support them financially.

“He also needs to explain why it has taken so long for residents to be informed of the very serious findings of his report,” he said.

He said the report raises a host of questions – including whether or not the developer and builder responsible will be held accountable for the defects.

He said residents deserve to know who is going to pay for the required remedial work and whether or not other houses in the estate will be surveyed.

“I will be raising this issue with Minister Murphy when the Dáil resumes later this month,” he said.

“Given that there may be other estates built during the boom years with similar problems, I will be asking the Minister to outline a plan to deal with the broader issue of building defects that holds those responsible to account and assists residents with the costs of making their homes safe.”