Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Micheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
As Members are aware, 256 residents, involving approximately 64 families, were compelled last October to leave their homes in Priory Hall in Donaghmede following a High Court order relating to fire safety. For the past four months, those residents have essentially been homeless. We have read about the developer being before the courts, receiving fines and suspended prison sentences and ultimately being declared bankrupt in London. Meanwhile the horrific misery of the residents continues.
Dublin City Council has identified contractors but there was no agreement on who would pay for any of the workers required to enable the families to be housed adequately. During all the claims, counter-claims and court hearings, the people remain out of their homes. They have, by any yardstick, been treated appallingly and unacceptably. To add insult to injury, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Hogan, has refused to meet the residents, citing the legal proceedings as an excuse. I suggest to the Taoiseach that this is passing the buck. The very least the Government could do is meet the residents. By not doing so, it is being dismissive and is guilty of ignoring the core of the residents' plight. The Government needs to think outside the box, intervene and work to resolve this issue.