Investigations carried out by Longford County Council on infrastructural and residential developments at the Gleann Riada estate in Longford town, following an explosion at a house there a number of weeks ago, have brought to light some shocking facts in relation to excessive gas levels and structural defects within the development. Gas levels at Gleann Riada are currently being monitored and will continue being monitored for two months.
In a recent statement on the matter, the local authority revealed that hydrogen sulphite levels at three houses in the estate exceeded “World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended level for indoor air for 24 hours exposure”. “It is predicted that the general population, including susceptible individuals, if exposed to this level for a period in excess of one hour could experience notable discomfort and symptoms,” a spokesperson for the Environmental Department at the local authority stated. “Asthmatic individuals would be particularly susceptible and as a precautionary measure and on the recommendation of the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Council is issuing advice to households not to light fires until a risk assessment has been undertaken. Residents are also advised to keep their homes ventilated.”
The Longford Leader learned on Monday that the HSE recommended that a specialist risk assessment be carried out at Gleann Riada “to asses the risk of future explosion”. The national health body also indicated that such procedures should be “arranged as soon as possible”.
In the meantime, Longford County Council advised residents to “vent the house thoroughly by opening windows, etc” and said that if residents were unhappy with such procedures, they should “vacate the property and inform Longford County Council that they wish to have their house included in the next batch of houses to be monitored”.
“Employees of Longford County Council have carried out preliminary inspections of a limited number of properties and evidence was found that there may be defects in some cases that require attention,” the statement went on to say. “It is possible that in some instances subsidence of footpaths immediately adjacent to dwellings may have caused outlet pipe connections to break or come apart. For these reasons, the Council recommends that you [resident] engage suitably qualified persons to carry out an assessment of the condition of property and remedy any defects that are found.”
The local authority went on to state, “Longford County Council has not accepted or certified the standard of workmanship of the development or the infrastructural services in the Gleann Riada development and until such time as the services are Taken in Charge, the Council has no legal responsibility for them. The Council will also take further legal action as appropriate against the developers of the estate to seek to have it completed in accordance with the relevant requirements.”