Jennifer Green Holds Ard Dealgan Protest

Jennifer talking to the residentsThe wind and rain on Friday afternoon didn’t deter around 50 residents joining Sinn Féin councillor Jennifer Green at a picket at the Ard Dealgan complex on Quay Street.

Ard Dealgan was built by controversial developer Tom McFeely. The complex has remained unoccupied since 2009 due to health and safety concerns and has deteriorated ever since into the dilapidated eyesore they are now.

Councillor Green said “This development has become a nightmare for the residents of the area as it is attracting anti-social elements from all over. We have had a number of fires in the complex, the place has been stripped and wrecked and residents are afraid to let their children out because it is just dangerous. As a mother of two boys, I know how curious they can be and how adventurous but the complex is not secured in any way to keep anyone out despite Dundalk Town Council putting money into it a few years ago to do just that. I really dread to think what could happen.”

A ‘Derelict Site’ notice was issued last November to developer McFeely and also to the Beltary Property Finance Ltd Company who currently hold the mortgage. There has been no communication received from either.

Jennifer Green explained “Between development fees, securing the property, fire services and ambulance call-out charges and the derelict site levies, the Council are owed the guts of €1,000,000 so I can’t understand why they are not aggressively seeking to find out who has responsibility for the complex and attempt to recoup this money”.

“We want someone to take responsibility for this building. The complex needs to be demolished as it can’t be restored at this point. There were 73 apartments in the complex, that is 73 families which could have been housed. We have a shortage of social housing in this county, demolish Ard Dealgan and build proper social and affordable homes in its place. The people of the Quay are entitled to live in a safe environment without fear of letting their children out to play or without fear of abuse when they are walking to the shop.

“Today’s picket shows the anger and determination of this community who came out in their numbers in the wind and rain, to show that they are sick of being ignored and being held to ransom by Ard Dealgan. We need this issue resolved as a matter of urgency”