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June 22, 2017, 1:57 p.m.
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A Dublin city centre property used as emergency accommodation for homeless families has been closed down amid fire safety concerns.
A number of homeless families were staying in Lynams Hotel on Tuesday night when fire safety concerns were raised after a padlock was found on one of the building’s fire doors.
The property is undergoing renovation work and is one of nine “family hubs” secured to take homeless families out of private hostel and B&B rooms.
The property hotel is being leased by Dublin City Council.
Officers from the Dublin Fire Brigade inspected the property on Wednesday, and raised several issues with Dublin City Council.
Following the meeting Dublin City Council (DCC) have ceased housing homeless families in the property until the “completion of works on additional precautions” take place.
A spokeswoman from the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) said Dublin City Council “will be working with the fire services over the next few days to implement further precautions to enable the facility to continue to be utilised for contingency purposes”.
A spokeswoman from the Dublin Fire Brigade said fire services officers on Wednesday “met with Dublin City Council Housing and agreed a list of measures that need to be addressed”.
Construction works to fit out Lynams hotel as a “family hub” for homeless families started on May 25th. The property is a former hotel that closed in 2016.
According to the council’s building register a completion certificate for the refurbishment works has not been filed, and works are still ongoing.
Anthony Flynn, head of the Dublin voluntary group Inner City Helping Homeless, raised concerns from homeless families with Dublin Fire Brigade over fire safety issues on Tuesday. “There were issues like fire escape doors being padlocked, loose wires, plug sockets not connected. And other issues like problems with no running water, it’s a building site” he said.
“There are serious humanitarian concerns here around putting families up in these rooms, with no facilities. It’s absurd that somebody in Dublin City Council has given over keys to allow families be put into this building” he said.
Dublin City Council confirmed they have housed families in Lynams hotel in recent weeks while construction work on the properties’ interior continues.
“Dublin City Council have contingency beds in place which are part of a harm reduction measure to ensure that families do not sleep rough. Lynams forms part of the response to meet the growing demand of families presenting late at night and who were unable to source accommodation”, a spokeswoman for the city council said.
“10 rooms at this property were identified as suitable to accommodate families in this emergency situation only.
“In order to enable the use of the rooms as contingency beds, Dublin City Council and an independent fire consultant put in place all necessary precautions and requirements to ensure the safety of any families placed there, including the appointment of two fire wardens who are on-duty while families are there overnight. Our priority is always the safety and welfare of families placed in all emergency accommodation” she said.
Families will now not be housed in the property until issues raised by Dublin Fire Services are addressed over the next number of days.