The occupiers of one house in the Gleann Riada estate were evacuated from their home after dangerous levels of carbon monoxide were detected in the last week.
Longford County Council have been monitoring gases in a number of properties at Gleann Riada over the past few weeks after a build-up of gases caused an explosion on March 15 this year. Last Tuesday, the Council were informed by the HSE that elevated carbon monoxide levels were detected in one house, with the tenant immediately advised to evacuate the premises.
It was further revealed last week that the National Asset Management Agency have set aside €150,000 for the demolition of the block, according to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan who revealed the figure following a parliamentary question from Sinn Fein TD Dessie Ellis.
The Dublin North West TD has hit out at the cost of the project. “It is a total disaster. Already, the taxpayer has paid for the apartment block and is now paying another €150,000 to demolish it,” he said.
Two weeks ago, demolition teams moved onto the estate to remove the derelict apartment block at the the entrance to the estate. After preliminary work, a nest of house martins was discovered nesting in the building, which has temporarily stalled the demolition.
Engineer John McNamara, representing Longford/Westmeath Sinn Fein, has criticised Nama, the County Council and the contractors for failing to communicate with home owners over when demolition work will recommence, and their future plans for the estate.
Meanwhile, Longford County Council has commissioned a root cause analysis and the results of this will be required before any further decisions can be made on how the situation can be dealt with.
A spokesperson for Longford County Council said the detected levels of gases was significantly higher than would normally be expected to occur in a residence. It is understood elevated levels of other gases have been detected in a small number of homes at Gleann Riada but the house that has been evacuated differs as the gas involved was carbon monoxide.
“Carbon Monoxide is a dangerous gas and for that reason the HSE have indicated that the occupiers of the house should be made aware of the results of the monitoring and be advised to vacate the property, in the interests of their safety,” they said.
“This is a difficult situation for the family involved and the Council does not wish to make any specific comments in relation to the house that is involved. The Council is taking a number of precautionary steps and will be issuing advice to the owners and occupiers of all homes in the development,” the spokesperson added.