Longboat Quay apartment complex residents have been given until the end of May 2017 to comply with a fire safety notice issued by Dublin Fire Brigade.

The original fire safety notice ordered that works be started by 1 November this year.

The residents are currently involved in a Commercial Court case against the Dublin Docklands Development Agency and the Bernard McNamara company Gendsong Limited, which built the complex, and Gendsong's receivers, to try to establish who is to foot the bill for the substantial works. 

The works are estimated to cost almost €4 million.

Lawyers for the Longboat Quay Management company, representing the residents at Dublin District Court today, said the original time period of one month to comply with the fire safety notice was unreasonable.  

Senior Counsel Patrick Leonard said they had complied with the first three parts of the four-part fire safety notice. But he said the residents did not have the €3.88m needed to carry out the main works.

Mr Leonard said he believed the Commercial Court case would be heard in April or May next year and would be followed by a judgment in June.   

He said the works were likely to take nine months to complete.

Mr Leonard said significant works had already been carried out to improve fire detection and alarm systems at Longboat Quay.

He said a risk management consultant had assessed the complex and recommended a number of short-term measures to be put in place pending the commencement of the main works.   

Mr Leonard said the residents' fire safety expert was now of the opinion that the risk of fire was now greatly reduced.

Lawyers for Dublin Fire Brigade said they were standing over the fire safety notice. Barrister Karen Denning said the works already carried out and short-term measures due to be carried out did give the fire service a greater sense of comfort. 

However, she said, the longer the issue went on, the greater the risk of fire.

Judge Michael Coghlan said this was a special case and a unique situation.  He said putting a stay on the enforcement of the fire safety order put him in the situation of having to deal with the potential for a disaster to occur in the period of time before the main works are completed.

The judge said he was sympathetic to extending the time and it was a case which came down to reasonableness and common sense rather than law. 

It also involved significant sums of money.

After discussions between the sides, the court ordered that the substantial works at Longboat Quay be completed by 30 May, 2017.

Lawyers for Dublin Fire Brigade said Longboat Quay continued to be a potentially dangerous building and would remain so until the remedial works were completed.