Nightmare apartment may even be ‘a fire risk’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A FATHER of three has described living in an apartment in Brookfield in Tallaght, that has had ongoing issues with damp, mould and leaking water, as being “a nightmare” – and he fears that the condition of the apartment could be a fire risk.

Mark Sharkey, who lives in the apartment with his wife and their three kids, aged 15, 12 and two, moved into the council apartment 12 years ago, and in the past six months issues with damp, mould and fungi have been worsening on the lower floor of the apartment, where the bedrooms are situated.

Mark Sharkey 08 compressor

Some of the damage in the home

With water leaks through the lower floor of the apartment and in a communal hallway, Mr Sharkey said that, despite repeated attempts to get South Dublin County Council to resolve the issue, he’s “getting nowhere”.

“When the leaking started there were mushrooms coming out of the walls,” Mr Sharkey told The Echo, “and now you can see and smell the damp and mould.

“I’ve been trying to get them out since the problem was small, but now it’s really escalated.

“We can’t use the lights in the hallway, because the water is coming in from outside, behind the light switches. I’m worried the place is going to go on fire.”

A council inspector inspected the property shortly after the issues began, according to Mr Sharkey, and the inspector found that the leak was originating from a balcony above the lower floor of the apartment.

“It’s been a nightmare, health-wise and stress-wise,” said Mr Sharkey. “It’s very stressful trying to get the council to come out.

Mark Sharkey 06 compressor

Damp and mould on the lower floor of the apartment

“I’m not saying that they have to drop everything for me – I know they have other work to do, but it’s become a major issue.”

Mr Sharkey has a bucket on the lower level of the apartment to try to catch the leaking water, but with the recent heavy rainfall he’s had to empty it twice a day.

Voicing his frustration, Mr Sharkey said: “I just want it fixed – I just want the council to come out and fix it.

“I’m sick of ringing them. Every time I ring them I’m being nice, but I feel like I’m at the end of my tether and I’m going to lose the rag.”

Mr Sharkey added that his wife suffers from asthma, and he has concerns about her health while she’s living in an environment with persistent mould and damp.

When contacted for comment, South Dublin County Council stated that it does not comment on individual cases.

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