Council Archives

Minister should meet costs of faulty houses

Fri 3 Mar 2000

The houses in question were built on unsure foundations by the council in the 1970s and suffer from major structural cracks. Town manager Terry O Niadh said officials could not make statements on how the houses were built because he said ‘we don’t know.’

“But we do know,” countered Councillor Timmy Conway.

Chairman Seamie Moore said if that site was being used today ‘every jail cell would be filled in with solid cement ... and that didn’t happen’. He said people had bought their houses in good faith and it was up to members themselves to take a lead because the official view was contrary to theirs. Councillor Mary Glennon said the families should take the legal path because if she were in their shoes, that’s what she would do.

Mr O Niadh emphasised the Minister for the Environment has no function in the matter as the houses are now privately owned.

But this didn’t sit well with Cllr Timmy Conway who answered that the houses had been built by the UDC on land that ‘we all know was not right’. He suggested the councillors themselves should appeal to the minister to ask him to rectify the situation.

Councillor Pat McCarthy said it was ‘ridiculous that a person buying a pair of shoes is protected by legislation but anyone buying a house, the biggest purchase in a lifetime, if there are structural faults, there’s no comeback.”

It’s believed the houses with faults were built over underground cells in the old jail. Another theory is that some were built over a tunnel which leads from St David’s Castle, through the Town Hall yard and St Martin’s Avenue to Jigginstown Castle