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Spanner in the works for St. Michael’s estate project

By Louisa McGrath

The construction of 75 houses, a community after-school and a crèche in Inchicore was stopped by Dublin City Council (DCC) last month.

According to DCC the building of St. Michael’s Estate was stopped on 15th February due to a number of health and safety concerns.

The contractor BAM Building Ltd. rejected with the reason for the stoppage and stated: “There was no accident and no threat to the health and safety of workers upon which a termination could be based.”

Mark Ryan of the Health and Safety Authority said:  “An incident happened where one of the balconies shifted.  We sent out an inspector who left an advice note, but did not close the site.  The city council afterwards decided to close it.”

The city council has not disclosed the health and safety issues which led to the pause in construction.

One week after work on the site ceased, and after BAM said it would take legal action if its contract was ended, BAM and DCC discussed and resolved the issue while work restarted immediately.

Both BAM and DCC have said the matters which gave rise to the temporary stoppage are being addressed.

BAM has said it is confident the project, which supports 160 jobs, can be completed on time.

TD Joan Collins of People Before Profit said:  “The contract was withdrawn on safety issues, but BAM got an independent health and safety report which said everything was fine.”

She added: “There was a bad relationship between BAM and the city council.”

Rita Fagan of the St. Michael’s regeneration project team said: “We are happy to have building restarted; it is three-quarters done and needs to be finished.  The council said it was a safety issue, but we are still unclear on the facts.  We cannot understand why the project is taking so long, costs so much and is so badly managed by Dublin City Council.”

Local Labour TD, Michael Conaghan said: “The people of the area, and in particular the families who vacated the old St. Michael’s Estate, are very anxious to see the works completed as soon as possible.  Since the old flats were demolished, there is a 15 acre hole in the heart of the area.”

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