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Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 1 November, 2014

Priory Hall: ‘Families have had to press pause on their lives for the last year’

As the one year anniversary of their evacuation appoaches, ex-residents of Priory Hall are planning a ‘March for Justice’ as they continue their search for a solution.

Darren Kelly and his 3 year old son Evan at a Priory Hall protest last December.
Darren Kelly and his 3 year old son Evan at a Priory Hall protest last December.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

AS THE ONE year anniversary of their evacuation from Priory Hall approaches, its residents feel no closer to a solution.

Having evacuated their homes on 17 October last year, Graham Usher, a previous occupant of the development, believes that ‘the Government has made every attempt to avoid this issue for the last year and they’d be completely happy for it to disappear’.

To mark to unhappy anniversary, the residents have planned a ‘March for Justice’, which is due to take place this Saturday at 2pm at the Donaghmede Shopping Centre.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Usher believes that ‘the state and the local authorities are trying their best to avoid our situation’.

There is a resolution process in place, but the fact of the matter is that no work that we are aware has been carried out. If it needs to be knocked down, knock it down. If it needs to be fixed, fix it.

One year on, life for the 256 former occupants could be about to get a lot worse.

With Dublin City Council going to the Supreme Court to try to stop paying our rent, we’re still facing the situation where families are going to be out on the streets. If they’re successful, we’re going to be in serious trouble.

Despite some residents having moratoriums in place so that they aren’t currently paying their mortgage, Usher knows that this isn’t a long-term solution.

“As the time passes, the interest continues to build,” he says. “Even if a solution is found, people may well find themselves too far behind [on their mortgage] to catch up.”

Families have had to press pause on their lives for the last year. We need an end to the limbo that we are in.

In pictures: Families pack their belongings at Priory Hall >

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