Thursday, 11 October 2012

Gleann Riada. Our little statelet in microcosm - it should never have been allowed

Perhaps if you never lived anywhere else in your life, you will think the following is quite normal? Run-of-the-mill even?

It is an RTE news report telling us how residents of a Longford housing estate - Gleann Riada - cannot light fires in their living rooms due to the possible inconvenience of a very large explosion.

Other residents, who are mortgaged way over their heads for what they once thought were their dream homes, are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and have had to evacuate the place.

It seems that the estate was constructed in rather a slapdash fashion during the Government-sponsored property bubble. It seems it was also built on a floodplain, and the foundations on which the sewers were laid are cracking to pieces, resulting in the widespread emission of "noxious" smells and gases throughout the dwellings.

The phrase "where else would you get it" is a very well-worn one here on the blog. But really? This is bizarre and grotesque even by Irish standards.

But not maybe not unprecedented, as those who bought houses during the bubble on other floodplains, or in crumbling estates riddled by pyrite, might testify.

What a madhouse.

HSE calls for urgent assessment of Longford housing estate

RTE, Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The HSE's National Director of Health Protection has said that all remaining houses on the Gleann Riada housing estate in Longford are unsafe to live in unless urgent assessments are carried out.

Dr Kevin Kelleher was speaking after a meeting with residents in Longford this afternoon. He said the HSE did not have the power to evacuate the remaining 79 houses in the estate.
However, he said there was clear evidence of the effect of carbon monoxide, methane and hydrosulfite in the area and the gases from the sewers were dangerous. Dr Kelleher repeated his warning that residents should not light open fires in their sitting rooms.
He said he has been told by residents they were suffering from symptoms, such as headaches and nausea, and there was an urgent need for each resident to have an assessment carried out on their home.

Dr Kelleher said he will pass on the information to Longford County Council.
In a statement, Longford County Council said it is constrained in what it can say due to legal proceedings undertaken by some of the residents.

However, it said all residents should ensure adequate ventilation in the house, do not light open fires, install carbon monoxide alarms in each house and maintain water traps in all toilets. It said the council will continue to work closely with the HSE in relation to this issue.
Meanwhile, the HSE primary care centre for Co Longford has been located on a site adjacent to the Gleann Riada estate.

The developer behind the primary care centre, Frank Kelly, told RTÉ News that even though the centre is built on the same floodplain as Gleann Riada, he is "100%" satisfied there will be no issues with gases or smells.

Mr Kelly said he has replaced the entire sewerage pipe network in the building. He said that even though the primary care centre would use the same mains network as Gleann Riada, he was certain there would be no adverse effect on the residents who were experiencing noxious smells and gases. Mr Kelly said Gleann Riada had been developed by a separate company. 

The HSE began an investigation into levels of noxious gases in the area after an explosion at a house in the estate. Engineers have blamed it on serious faults discovered in the foundations of the sewers, which have resulted in high levels of methane and carbon monoxide.

The initial explosion in the estate blew out a front window of one house and caused major internal structural damage. After a second incident on Friday, an engineer representing over 30 residents called for the development to be evacuated.


The Gombeen Man said...

Apologies to commenters.

Due to over-zealous spam filtering - and a state of extreme distraction on my part - I accidentally deleted comments from this post. And some of them were bloody good.

Unfortunately there appears to be no means for recovering unintentionally deleted comments on Blogger.

If anyone knows a way of getting deleted comments back through other means, please let me know.

Again, sincere apologies!

The Gombeen Man said...

I've recovered those comments via Google cache view... posting below:


Anonymous said...

As a"Deorai" living in the US for almost 33 years (thankfully not in poverty and suffering as per the oul' cathecism), I must thank you for the many chuckles you give me and always remind me I'm a product of the oul' sod or "as Gaeilge" - Eire.

7 October 2012 19:28

illuminati1111 said...

It seems things are indeed better elsewhere. There is wealth outside of the shithole indeed. No chance of bringing in one of these porches with the VRT we would have to pay. I like your comment on the shinners being the future of this place. I would say they will be in Govt next time out. I suppose they will tell the Troika to F**k off . There will be some satisfaction in that if nothing else. Keep up the good work.
7 October 2012 21:10

pony and trap boy said...

7 October 2012 22:31

Anonymous said...

Well there was Ford in Cork after all, also in the assembly business. Some figures I see for numbers include:

1949: 11,007
1973: 61,276

Of course the plant has been closed since 1984. Interesting history here (though as it's a PhD thesis it's basically a book):

Of course VRT like VAT rises/fuel excise is the goverenment's cowardly way of raising taxes and then claiming we live in a "low tax" economy. In reality they don't have the balls to put 1% of either tax band but knowing that no one complain they'll stick it on VAT.

Of course VRT is used to fund "Local Authority Fund" if you look at local spending on road maintenance it's at most 20% of the receipts the rest is spent making sure 32~ county/city managers earn over 190k+ a year.

8 October 2012 15:45

Dakota said...

I don't know what's worse, an individual thinking that a car is a luxury in Ireland, or the concept of VRT? There is just no answer to such profound intellect. Ouh and grand to think the future of this confusing island is going to be up to SF. Maybe VOODOO will be the new STATE religion?
8 October 2012 19:49

The Gombeen Man said...

@ KD. Glad you like it... at least you don't have to suffer it! ;-) Thanks for the feedback, and keep tuning in.

@ illuminati. Dread to think what such a car - or their modern equivalents - would cost here after VRT. It used to make me sick reading the Sunday Times motoring section, and you saw how much cheaper good wheels were in the UK. As for the Shinners, watch the slippery shits change their tune one they get in... as they have in Northern Ireland.

@ Pony and Trap Boy. Thanks, my man.

@ Paul. Wasn't aware of that. Cheers for the info. And yes, VRT is a scandal - and one lacking any hint of transparency, with Revenue's cooked-up Open Market Selling Price deciding a car's value. I'd sack the lot of them, the time-serving bastards.

@ Dakata. Yes, hard to say, isn't it? Paddy and Mary don't seem to perturbed by it though, which makes me realise how little we have in common with our fellow countrypeople, on this and other issues.