Cllr Jennifer Green: Ard Dealgan Nightmare Could Be Coming to an End

Jennifer GreenSinn Féin Councillor Jennifer Green has said that following the purchase of the Ard Dealgan Complex on Quay Street, the nightmare could be coming to an end.

Ard Dealgan was built by controversial developer Tom McFeeley and has remained unoccupied since 2009 due to health and safety concerns and has been a constant source of irritation for the area due to the anti-social activity it has attracted.

Speaking after the Dundalk Municipal meeting, Cllr Green said “Sinn Féin has been on this issue for years now and we have been pushing for the site to be used for social housing. This evening I was told that a consortium have bought the building and are proposing to renovate it. They will be doing initial studies and costings to see if it will be viable for social housing. It’s not clear at this stage if that will be the case. The Council and Sinn Féin would prefer this option obviously but we will have to wait and see.”

In recent days, Cllr Green had urged young people not to be entering the complex due to the dangerous state it was in and also the danger of running into anti-social people within the building.  When asked about the immediate safety/security issue surrounding the complex, Cllr Green said:

“I have been told that the new owners will send a security firm to guard the building to ensure no-one is living within it and that no anti-social behaviour is taking place and this should happen in the next 4-6 weeks.”

“However, if all this falls through the Council can still activate the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and look at pushing through social housing. Either way, I feel it is safe to say, we can see light at the end of this nightmare tunnel at long last.”

Cllr Green Welcomes Move on Ard Dealgan Nightmare

Jennifer GreenAfter many frustrating years it seems that a solution to the Quay Street Ard Dealgan Aparment complex could be finally on the horizon.

Sinn Féin Councillor Jennifer Green who has been battling on behalf of residents from the Quay Street and surrounding areas to address the issue said:

“The Council have been working on this over this past year or more and have sought a voluntary housing body to take on the Ard Dealgan complex. Cluid are preparing a funding proposal for the site which hopefully provide around 38 dwellings.”

Cllr Green was hopeful as she said “although it is still at the early stages, the move is very much welcomed. We have seen the Quay area lose its sense of spirit since these apartments had to be abandoned and were left to wrack and ruin. The apartments are a magnet for problems and anti-social activities and have been a living nightmare for nearby residents; not to mention the pressure it has put on the fire services as they have had to attend several fires using heavy duty hydraulic equipment.”

“Sinn Féin has consistently highlighted the negative impact Ard Dealgan has had on the close knit community. We have proposed numerous solutions and thankfully, the pressure from the community and Sinn Féin is beginning to yield results.”

Cllr Green concluded by saying “From the outset, Sinn Féin have been very vocal and will continue to support residents along the quay. Given the length of the housing list and the amount of time the Ard Dealgan saga has gone on, it is extremely frustrating. If 38 families could be housed in the Quay, it would reinvigorate the area and copper fasten the strong sense of community that already exists there”.

 

Cllr Jennifer Green Keeps Pressure On Over Ard Dealgan Complex

P1030527There was some positive feedback regarding the abandoned Ard Dealgan Complex on Quay Street at yesterday’s Dundalk Municipal District Council meeting.

Sinn Féin Councillor Jennifer Green who has been to the forefront of a campaign to deal with the issue had put forward two ‘Notice of Questions’ asking for an update on the situation.

Speaking today, Cllr Green said “There have been several fires at the complex, the latest being last Friday evening and someone is going to be hurt or worse. There are people living illegally in the complex and creating a nuisance to the residents around the Quay area. This issue is not going away and we will not be ignored.”

“I have now been told by the Council that the Ard Dealgan issue is now a ‘priority’ and that the Council ‘has had discussions with a number of approved housing bodies in relation to a re-development solution. The Council has also highlighted the site to the Department of Environment as a site that should be re-developed. Discussions are continuing in this regard and when these matters are concluded the members will be advised.’”

Cllr Green said “while I give a cautious welcome to this news, what worries me is that there is no time frame in place. Every summer we have problems with fires and at one stage there was a barbeque held on the roof of the complex. The residents have had enough and this matter needs to be resolved as soon as possible. I will continue to keep the pressure on the Council.”

 

Adams – Inside The Ard Dealgan Nightmare

Ard Dealgan July 2015 1Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has urged Louth County Council to “prioritise as a matter of urgency the future of the Ard Dealgan apartment block in Quay Street, Dundalk.”

The Louth TD’s call comes after the third picket organised by local Councillor Jennifer Green at the site in recent months. Teachta Adams attended the picket on Friday and said “The Ard Dealgan apartment complex stands as a ruined monument to the worst excesses of the housing development corruption that was a key factor in the economic collapse 7 years ago.

The complex was poorly designed and constructed and was vacated in 2009 as a consequence of fire safety concerns. Since then it has become a blight on the local urban landscape, a source of annoyance and concern for the community around it, and a magnet for anti-social behaviour.”

At Friday’s picket, Gerry Adams TD and Councillor Pearse McGeough had an opportunity to get inside the complex for the first time.

“It reminded me of the Divis and Moyard Flats complexes’ in west Belfast that were built in the 1960s and which were demolished because of the appalling conditions residents were forced to endure.

As well as fires, noise and pollution issues, Councillor Jennifer Green and Councillor Pearse McGeough who accompanied me last Friday saw evidence that the complex is being used by drug addicts. There were needles lying dangerously about.

Questions over the ownership of Ard Dealgan; disputes over who has responsibility for securing it; and a lack of planning for its future has seen the internal structure of the Ard Dealgun complex seriously deteriorate.

In June Louth County Council indicated that they would ‘explore a residential option’ for the 73 units contained in Ard Dealgan for local housing needs. This would require a significant investment of public money.

The Ard Dealgan complex has been lying boarded up and empty for almost 6 years. There is an onus on the Council and on the department of the Environment to find an urgent resolution to this issue.”

Councillor Jennifer Green thanked the residents from the surrounding area for braving the poor weather and insisted “the people need to stand up and demand an end to this nightmare. It has been going on too long. I am a mother of 2 adventurous boys who would just love to explore Ard Dealgan and the very thought of it fills me with horror when I see what the inside is like.  We will continue with these monthly pickets until there is some resolution on the issue.”

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These are some of the pictures that were taken inside the Ard Dealgan complex when Gerry Adams TD gained access with Cllr Pearse McGeough and two members of the Watters Brothers SF Cumann.

You can see the state of the place and how unsafe it all is and the drug paraphernalia just lying around.

Pics are courtesy of Enda Flynn

Jennifer Green Hits Out At Those Responsible For Ard Dealgan Fire

P1030519Sinn Féin Councillor has hit out at those responsible for setting a fire on the third floor of the Ard Dealgan flats complex in the early hours of this morning.

Cllr Green who has been tirelessly working to find a resolution to the complex said “Once again, fire crews were called because anti-social elements within the apartment complex decided to set a fire. The residents have been calling for something to be done and yet again, their peace has been destroyed. Louth County Council have said they were exploring options to convert the complex into livable accommodation, that can’t happen quick enough.”

There have been a number of fires over the years at the apartment complex on Quay Street. Cllr Green said “someone is going to be killed at this complex. The council issued a derelict site notice some time ago and there has been no response from any of the ‘interested’ parties. Who has responsibility for this nightmare building? Beltary Properties hold the mortgage and haven’t responded to the Council. McFeeley, the developer who built the complex appears to be off the scene now totally. Who is responsible? Who is paying these call out charges to the fire brigade”

Councillor Green, who organised a picket last month and has organised another one for next Friday 26th June said she intends to provide a platform “to let the community have their say. They have had enough. It’s time the residents took back their area. They have a right to live in peace and in safety. They won’t have that as long as Ard Dealgan remains in the state it is in. We will continue with these pickets until someone stands up and takes responsibility before someone is hurt or killed.”

Fire crews attended the fire in the early hours of Friday morning and extinguished the fire in a third floor apartment using a hydraulic platform to gain access.