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Dublin: 1 °C Wednesday 26 November, 2014

City council to appeal Priory Hall court order

Dublin City Council is to appeal an order forcing it to pay for alternative accommodation for the residents of the Priory Hall complex.

Dublin City Council is to appeal a court order making it responsible for covering the cost of rehousing the residents of the Priory Hall complex in Donaghmede (pictured).
Dublin City Council is to appeal a court order making it responsible for covering the cost of rehousing the residents of the Priory Hall complex in Donaghmede (pictured).
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Updated, 12.22

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL is to appeal a High Court order forcing it to cover the cost of accommodating the former residents at the Priory Hall apartment complex in donaghmede.

The High Court had last month ordered the evacuation of the complex, in Donaghmede in north Dublin, on health and safety grounds – after the council said a fire in one apartment could engulf the entire complex within minutes.

The court had directed that the council meet the costs of rehousing the residents – but the council has now indicated that it will seek leave to appeal this order.

The council is to claim that the President of the High Court, Justice Nicholas Kearns, did not have jurisdiction to order that the council be responsible for the costs under the terms of the Fire Services Act.

The council also says that Justice Kearns had “erred” in ordering it to assume the responsibility for accommodating the residents.

The application for leave to appeal will be heard this afternoon, but a decision is not likely to be issued immediately.

David Hall of the advocacy group New Beginning said the development was “very unwelcome”, saying it “puts additional pressure on the Priory Hall residents”.

Neither the council and the property’s original developer Tom McFeely say they do not have the finances to carry out fireproofing work on the complex.

On Monday councillors passed an emergency motion calling on the government to provide emergency funds to cover the cost of accommodating the 240-or-so residents who have been forced to leave their homes.

The residents were evacuated from Priory Hall three weeks ago, with the majority being housed in accommodation provided by the National Asset Management Agency and from voluntary housing organisations.

Last week the court ordered McFeely to cease work and remove all employees from the site, finding him to be in breach of a previous order.

The City Council had told the court that no substantive progress had been made in trying to remedy the fire safety problems.

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