Why Balgaddy Needs Change

In 2004, Howley Harrington Architects won a prize for Best Housing for their buildings in Balgaddy. But six years later major problems have arisen in the wider area with some of the buildings.

Residents complain of signs of damp in many buildings and of plaster peeling of walls. In some instances, fungus and spores have been found to be growing in a number of houses. Concerns have also been raised about the effects on health.

One of the main builders for the area was GAMA who won a contract to build 247 of the houses. GAMA was a notorious company that had been invited into Ireland by Mary Harney who travelled to Turkey to encourage them to open operations here.  GAMA undercut other contractors and won a notorious reputation for not paying their workers a proper wage.

It is now clear to the residents that some of their buildings were not built to the proper specifications.
In another part of the estate, a housing association , Cara, commissioned an architectural report on one of the blocks. This report has not been made public and some residents want the council to disclose its contents so that information is provided on building standards.


Balgaddy also needs proper community facilities but the South Dublin County Council is dragging its heels. Buildings that were designated as shops and crèches lie boarded up.

Yet its own development plan states these facilities are supposed to be put in place. The 2004-2010 Development plan promises to ‘ Ensure that services and facilities  are provided in tandem with housing development (shops,  businesses, schools, crèches, surgeries, community centres,

One of the impressive buildings on the edge of the area houses a football club, the South Dublin Football League. But local clubs for teenagers have to make up with a cabin as their changing rooms.

South Dublin County Council have also failed in their obligation to provide proper facilities for people who are disabled in the area- even though they claim to support a policy of inclusion.

On October 8, 2003, Seamus Ross told the Mahon Tribunal that he paid Liam Lawlor TD over £40,000 to get the postal address of a housing estate changed from Clondalkin to Lucan. That housing estate was in Balgaddy.

Mr Ross estimated the change allegedly arranged by Mr Lawlor was worth £5,000 a house to him, or a total of £2.5m. But while Ross made extra profits, there were no gains for the people of Balgaddy.

One of the results of this change is that Balgaddy’s address as part of Lucan has meant that it has not been designated as a special area that needs to get full funding for community facilities. The result is that today many of the intended facilities remain idle.

The residents want to know why South Dublin County Council is not living up to its responsibilities.

Gino Kenny has had a long involvement with the residents of Balgaddy and is now campaigning for:

1: A full, official investigation into why a 7 year old estate should have such problems.
2. An immediate opening of proper community facilities for the area in line with the South Dublin Development Plan 2014-2010.