Provost Patrick Prendergast has moved from 1 Grafton Street into a city centre apartment in Dublin 2 to escape the noise of the ongoing Luas Cross City construction works. The move to the College owned property occurred just before Christmas and is being financed by Trinity.
The property in question was purchased by the College for €1.95m last year. According to a document submitted to the College Board last May, the property was bought with the intention of generating an annual rental income of €85,000. The College Board, on which the Provost sits, approved the purchase of the property last May despite the Investment Committee advising that the building was a poor property investment.
A spokesperson for College said: “Due to noise levels caused by the Luas works the Provost on occasion stays in campus accommodation.”
When asked about remuneration to students affected by the noise from the ongoing construction works, the Accommodation Office refused to comment.
When asked about how the construction works have affected students, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Kieran McNulty said: “We’ve met with the Luas team several times and have obtained certain assurances including the promise that works at night should be done post St Patrick’s Day with limited exceptions. If they renege on this, we will take all available action. It is preposterous to carry on during exams and we will ensure that this does not happen at night.”
There have been many complaints about the night-time construction works from students living in Front Square, Botany Bay, Pearse Street and the Graduates Memorial Building (GMB). In response to these complaints, TCDSU provided earplugs to affected students and organised meetings with the project contractors to request that work only occur at off-peak times and before the examination study period in April.
The construction of the new Luas lines began around Trinity in January 2014. The project, costing €368 million, will connect the current Luas Green and Red lines and will include 13 new stops, including Dawson Street, Westmoreland Street, O’Connell Street and the Trinity stop, which will be situated on the Pearse Street side of campus. Testing of the lines will commence later this year with Luas Cross City hoping to carry the first passengers by the end of 2017.