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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 23 July, 2014

Priory Hall: Legal action by DCC is of no benefit to ex-residents

While the DCC has spent over €300,000 on surveys and engineering in relation to Priory Hall, its ex-residents don’t have the same resources.

George Finglas protests at the one year anniversary of the Priory Hall evacuation.
George Finglas protests at the one year anniversary of the Priory Hall evacuation.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE SUING OF developer Tom McFeely by Dublin City Council (DCC) will have “no bearing on residents,” according to Priory Hall spokesperson Graham Usher.

The council is seeking damages for the apartments that had been leased by them, having been granted permission to pursue the developer at the High Court earlier this week.

Although still part of a resolution process, the ex-residents remain no closer to a final resolution.

Speaking of the resources that the DCC have, and which the residents he represents don’t, Usher told TheJournal.ie:

They have the resources to carry out the necessary investigation to do this. We’ve never gotten access to any of the surveys that they’ve carried out. We requested, quite vocally inside and outside of court, the building control report from DCC. We still haven’t seen it.

The North Central Area Committee Agenda for September of this year showed that, as of 28 August, the DCC had spent €335,616 on “engineering/surveys” that were related to Priory Hall.

The residents involved in the resolution process were not aware of the DCC’s plans to take legal action either, with Usher saying that “it never came up as part of the resolution process.”

Usher’s response comes a day after Labour Party TD Seán Kenny said that An Garda Síochána should consider a criminal investigation in to what happened in Priory Hall. Kenny said:

It is my view that 256 lives were endangered at Priory Hall by building what can be shown to be a death trap and I also believe that the negligence involved in doing so requires a criminal investigation. The residents of Priory Hall are tired of waiting for answers and of waiting for others to do something for them.
While I know that the courts have cleared Dublin City Council to bring proceedings against him, the fact is that the present court cases in which Tom McFeely is involved with will do nothing to alleviate or resolve the position that the residents of Priory Hall find themselves in. It is their situation that concerns me the most.

“Obviously our view is that there should be a criminal action against Tom McFeely,” Usher said. “Back in October of 2011, High Court President Nicholas Kearns ordered that a file was to be sent to the DPP. They [the DPP] should act on that.”

Speaking of the slow progress, Usher is hoping that something changes before the end of 2012. “The problem with this dragging on is the mortgages. The average mortgage is now €15,000 more than when we were evacuated.”

Read: Dublin City Council spends €638,000 on security for Priory Hall >

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