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  • Irish Times: Social housing construction needs to resume quickly

Irish Times: Social housing construction needs to resume quickly



Social housing construction needs to resume quickly, says builder

Townmore construction says Government must not halt essential infrastructure projects

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A construction firm building social housing and medical device facilities has said essential infrastructure projects, stopped due to coronavirus restrictions, must resume as quickly as possible.

Townmore construction has urged the Government not to impose a lengthy hiatus on social housing, healthcare facilities, schools, roads and utilities projects to deliver “critical infrastructure” and preserve economic stability to the greatest extent possible.

Mark Cronin, associate director with Townmore, said that because the virus was likely to remain in circulation for a considerable time, construction sites would have to adapt to new ways of working, but it was feasible for sites to operate safely.

“In construction, PPE [personal protective equipment] has been worn for years and years, so having to wear gloves, helmets and goggles is commonplace,” he said.

“We are one of the few sectors that have full-time health and safety teams on site each and every day, and these staff would be well able to implement any Covid-19 instructions.” The project managers of each site are also trained in health and safety management he said.

Since the pandemic hit, but before sites were closed, social distancing, staggered break times, changes in the way workers travel to and from the sites, and additional hand-washing facilities had been introduced, he said.

Townmore had been working on 13 sites across the State including building 300 social homes in Dublin, Laois, Tipperary and Cork and medical device “cleanroom” facilities in Wicklow, Dublin and Galway. Mr Cronin said this work, and work on other construction sites, needs to continue.

Procurement work

“We now have the Covid-19 crisis, but the other crises we already had haven’t miraculously gone away. The housing waiting list has not dissipated because of the Covid-19 crisis.”



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