Ballymun lifts could be fixed soon

City management say there is a strong possibility the problems with lifts in the Ballymun flats will be resolved soon, however, a councilor says people have been suffering for months.

At the monthly Dublin City Council meeting on Monday night, Cllr Dessie John Ellis (Sinn Fein) said, “There’s people now suffering months on end and we’re still nowhere near a solution. The army are in there and fair play to them they are doing their best but this is a job for engineers properly equipped [for lift maintenance work] and we need to get this contracts up and running.”

“I’m urging [the council] to try to get this moving as quick as we can and I want the manager to tell us how quick we can sit down and negotiate.”

Ellis added: “There’s people suffering, there’s people having heart attack, there’s people falling on the stairs, there’s all sorts of things happening. It’s just appalling”.

Ciaran McNamara, assistant city manager, said “The city is trying to get to a stage were we can bring back a lift maintenance contract for Ballymun, so it is getting urgent attention, it’s getting all sides together this week.”

McNamara said the problem is primarily a dispute between lift company Pickerings and the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU). Mediation is continuing and said he believes there is a strong possibility that an agreement could be reached.

Regular maintenance has not being carried out since the start of the year. Army engineers started to work on the lifts at the end of April when help was requested by the council.

The High Court was told in April that 450 families, including four people who are wheelchair-bound, were affected. At one point, 25 of the 27 lifts in nine remaining eight-storey blocks and one 14-storey block were out of order.

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