Campus Residence manager reacts to St. Pat’s accommodation investigation

By Hayley Halpin

Vents in the common area are broken.

DCU Campus Residence Ltd supplied a reaction to the findings of The College View’s investigation of the St. Patrick’s College on-campus accommodation.

Although students on the Drumcondra campus saw an annual rent increase of 38% this academic year to bring it in line with the rent price of Glasnevin’s Larkfield, Campus Residence Ltd did not roll out facility upgrades to match Larkfield in time for the price hike.

When questioned by The College View, John Caffrey, Campus Residence General Manager said: “Upgrade works can only be completed on a phased basis in the summer period in order to ensure accommodation is kept on-line for the academic terms, such is the demand for accommodation. One accommodation block at a time will be taken off-line during this summer to facilitate the upgrade works.”

Campus Residence Ltd have been aware of the DCU incorporation since its announcement two years ago.

DCU only acquired the 230 beds on the St Patrick’ campus that were built in the 1960’s on September 1st, 2016, residences which would be considered dated relative to the Glasnevin campus residences and that require substantial investment.

“Campus Residences is working on putting the required finance in place to proceed with Phase I of refurbishment works on the St. Patrick’s Campus which are planned over the summer of 2017,” Caffrey stated.

Read more on St. Patrick’s College accommodation conditions:

The College View investigates: St. Patrick’s College accommodation living conditions

The College View reported each fault found within the accommodation in St. Pat’s to Mr. Caffrey.

He confirmed that Campus Residence were unaware of any broken air vents and “will investigate this and report to the estates office for repair.”

“Any issues with blocked toilets are dealt with as they are across all three campuses, as soon as they are reported they are investigated and resolved by the estates team,” Caffrey said.

However, residents in House 3 stated that they have been experiencing a sewage issue since semester one.

“There are some bedroom windows that are not fully operational and while these are currently repaired on a case by case basis as reported to the estates office we plan to have all windows replaced during the summer,” Caffrey said.

Any issues with blocked toilets are dealt with as they are across all three campuses, as soon as they are reported they are investigated and resolved by the estates team.

The College View have evidence of missing doors on cupboards in the kitchen of House 3.

When asked about this, Mr. Caffrey only noted missing cupboards in House 4: “In house 4 two doors are missing from the bottom cupboard and this has been reported to the estates office for repair.”

“Campus Residences charge rates that are substantially below equivalent rates in the Dublin area and tries to balance to need to generate income with the need to help upgrade and/or maintain facilities.”

DCUSU VP for Education & Placement Manus McLoughlin spoke to The College View about the removal of the Irish language names on each house in St. Patrick’s College, which this year have been renamed “House 1, House 2” and so forth.

“The four campus buildings in the formerly known St. Patrick’s College were named Lios Mor, Glendalough, Clonmacnoise and Moville,” McLoughlin said.

“They’re all Irish names and they have a history and a meaning behind them and when DCU campus accommodation came in this year, not only did they increase the price but they also abolished the names of the campus buildings. Now they are house one, house two, house three, house four.”

“Apart from the state of affairs, be it health and safety, or the fact that these services aren’t as good as the Glasnevin campus. Imagine if you changed the name Larkfield and Hampstead to house one and house two,” he said.
Hayley Halpin

Image: Hayley Halpin