Homeless find refuge in Limerick luxury penthouse

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

The entrance to the apartments in Riverpoint on Bishop's Quay. Picture: Adrian Butler
IT was once the height of luxury accommodation during the Celtic Tiger, but the corridors of the €75m Riverpoint building have become a night-time refuge to homeless people, seeking relief from the cold on its penthouse floors.

IT was once the height of luxury accommodation during the Celtic Tiger, but the corridors of the €75m Riverpoint building have become a night-time refuge to homeless people, seeking relief from the cold on its penthouse floors.

Residents of the complex said they have been shocked to wake up and leave their apartments to go to work only to find people sleeping outside their doors.

“We are paying €1,000 a month for one of the penthouse suites, and it was very frightening to see this. One man asleep in the corridor had a bullet-proof vest on him, and there were cigarette butts everywhere,” said one resident, who did not wish to be named.

“We have complained to the letting agency and the management company, but it’s happening all the time. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to come home and find people sitting outside your door. I chose to live here because I thought I’d feel safe here, and it’s a spectacular setting. Any young person would love to live here, but now a lot of people are insecure,” they told the Limerick Leader.

While some one and two-bed apartments in Riverpoint are for let for €700 to €800 a month, the penthouse suites cost some €1,000 a month for two people. In the past year, apartments in Riverpoint - built by developer Michael Daly of Fordmount Property Group during the boom - have sold from €55,000 to €92,000.

Residents were under the impression that the door to the building is broken and that anyone can simply walk in and catch the elevator up to the 11th floor penthouses, believed to be the warmest location in the building.

However, a spokesperson for M&C Property on O’Connell Street in the city, who provides security for both the commercial and residential Riverpoint towers, said this is not the case.

The company said they have made numerous efforts to tighten security measures at the building, even calling in the gardai and requesting the assistance of homeless shelters.

“We are doing everything we can, and we have been trying to police this for some time now. There is a care-taker on site, and there’s also a 24-hour office number people can ring. The security of the premises is also the responsibility of residents.

“They must ensure that they don’t leave people in behind them when they use their fob key, or buzz in people they don’t know through the intercom. We would ask all residents to report anything suspicious. The issue has been raised before, and we have sent out letters to residents on this matter.”