Provision of 22 Modular Homes at Baile na Laochra Poppintree, Ballymun.

Dublin City Council (DCC) is constructing 22 rapid build modular homes on a site named Baile na Laochra, Balbutcher Lane, Poppintree, Ballymun, as a response to the unprecedented number of families currently residing in unsatisfactory hotel emergency accommodation. As of 29th November 2015 there are 705 families with 1,466 children in emergency homeless accommodation.

The DECLG issued approval for the project on Friday 19th of November 2015 subject to conditions. Due to the ultra fast time requirement to deliver the 22 rapid build modular Homes, DCC travelled to the Factory of the successful tender in Coalisland County Tyrone and signed letters of intent & acceptance on the afternoon of Friday 19th November 2015 with Western Building Systems LTD for a tender to provide 22 rapid build modular homes by 21st December 2015.

Western Building Systems LTD commenced on the Poppintree site on the Monday 23rd of November 2015.

On Thursday the 26th of November protesters entered on to the site and prevented work from being carried out. The contractor informed DCC of a very serious escalation of the protest and that on the night of the 26th of November, the contractor’s security staff were threatened by persons unknown wearing balaclavas. They were told to go back to the North or their machinery would be burned out. Due to health and safety concerns the contractors removed staff from the site.

The protesters continued their protest on the site on Friday 27th of November and the contractor informed DCC of further threats and intimidation. He was told by the protestors should he attempt to proceed with any works at the site there would be an additional 150 protesters on the site and his machinery would be burnt out.
This threat was taken very seriously and the contractor removed all staff and plant from the site on the afternoon of Friday 27th November.

The contractor did not return to the site until Thursday 3rd of December. At that time the matter with regard to the cooperative protest was resolved successfully by DCC in consultation with the Gardaí. Therefore, the contractor felt it was safe for his staff to recommence work. However inclement weather did not allow any work to be carried out on 3rd December.

The contractor lost one week which represents 25% of the works program due the protests and threats to his staff. The contractor lost an additional 3 to 4 days because of inclement weather which has affected progress of ground works, e.g., block work and concrete curing. Despite the protests on the site, work in the factory was unaffected and is progressing apace on the fabrication of the modular homes.
This delay was completely outside the city councils control. The contractor has asked that he would be allowed to complete the works in accordance with his original phasing. The contractor is willing to deviate from his original phasing in order to push for units before Christmas. However, this risks incomplete units being left to the elements over the Christmas holidays and any such risk would have to be borne by DCC and would not be of benefit to any the homeless families we all wish to help. The assigned certifier and DCC’s professional team are in agreement with the project advancing in line with the original phasing adjusted for the time the site was rendered unavailable, the program has been revised and houses will now be on site in mid January.

Please note in accordance with the government directive for the provision of 150 rapid modular homes, Dublin City Council intends to commence a tender procedure for the provision of an additional 131 modular homes units on Friday 18th December 2015.
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