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Regeneration in Dublin

The continuing episode of Dublin regeneration was debated in the Dail when Michael Conaghan (Lab, Dublin SC) raised the stop in construction in St Michael’s Estate, Inchicore  (Dail Eireann, Debates, 21st February 2012, 265-7).  He called it a ‘disappointment on disappointment’.  Dessie Ellis (SF, Dublin NW) asked why there had been a halt to the 75 homes concerned: after 15 years of regeneration, now there was 11 acres of wasteland and two acres of ghost estate.  


Speaking for the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Fergus O’Dowd told them that following the failure of the PPP initiative, Dublin City Council had engaged BAM Contractors on site in December 2010 for the €5.8m project for 75 homes with a timeframe of 104 weeks.   In 2007, the Department of Finance had introduced new construction contracts for all public works which covered health and safety among other issues.  Following a comprehensive site examination, Dublin City Council had terminated the contract on 15th February this year due to non-compliance.  The department was not involved, but hoped that issues could be resolved by discussions between the parties.  


Michael Conaghan spoke of the dismay in the estate and he appealed to the minister of state to meet members of the regeneration board.  He hoped that after 20 years, the end might be in sight, for there was a great deal at stake.  Dessie Ellis spoke of how the families wanted to be relocated in the area in which they lived, among their own families and friends and the facilities they had over the years, such as schools, hospitals and health centres.   The minister of state assured them that capital funding would continue to be available for regeneration in the Dublin projects and that details of the 2012 social housing investment programme would be announced shortly.  He was aware of the potential of contractual disputes to delay much-needed projects and hoped that a solution could be found.