Two weeks after a ceiling collapsed at 11 Fenian Street in Dublin, eight families who are tenants in the building are living in tents adjacent to the building, rather than return to the home they consider unsafe for habitation.
One resident describes hearing a loud bang followed by the ceiling falling in on his child’s bed. He then alerted the other families to get out of the house.
I thought the whole lot was going to collapse.
He disagrees with the assessment made by Dublin Corporation’s Dangerous Buildings Section stating the building is safe.
Architect Paul S Moore examines the house and notes three aspects of concern. Firstly an internal wall is now exposed as a parting wall. Joists are badly affected by woodworm and the flooring material is not the proper grade chipboard. He declares
In its present condition it (the building) is not safe to live in.
The tenants prefer to live in tents and they manage on food provided by the nuns. They will continue to camp until the house is condemned by the Corporation or the landlord finds them alternative accommodation.
This is what you have to do to get yourself a place to live.
Paddy O’Grady a member of the Institute of Registered Architects retained by the tenants agrees that the building is rapidly becoming unfit for habitation.
This episode of '7 Days' broadcast on 1 October 1971. The reporter is Bill O'Herlihy.