A sign outside the Donaghmede complex tonight. (Image: @prioryhall)
A CANDLELIGHT VIGIL was attended by residents of Priory Hall this evening to mark the second Christmas they will spend out of their own homes as a result of shoddy building regulation during the so-called Celtic Tiger property boom.
It is 14 months since the 256 residents of the Donaghmede complex were evacuated over fire safety concerns. Between October 2011 and today, no remedial works have been carried out on the apartment blocks.
It is understood that the repairs bill to make the buildings safe would be at least €7.3 million but neither the developer Tom McFeely or Dublin City Council – which owns 26 of the apartments – are prepared to foot the cost of the extensive work.
In a statement today, the residents said they are being forced to live month-to-month with constant uncertainty over their futures.
“Families still do not know how long they can remain in their temporary accommodation and still face the threat of Dublin City Council’s Supreme Court Appeal to try to absolve the council of providing the residents temporary accommodation,” they said.
DCC are waiting for a hearing date for a Supreme Court appeal against an order which made it responsible for paying for the current housing of the residents in NAMA-owned properties. The banks, residents and DCC are also in the midst of a resolution process about the mortgages – most of which are about €250,000 – but little has been made public about the negotiations.
Many residents have moratoriums in place with their lenders but spokesperson Graham Usher noted that this just “pushes residents further into debt”.
“Due to the mortgage providers unwillingness to acknowledge the unique circumstances the residents face we are being forced into further debt on our mortgages as the current state of limbo continues indefinitely.
“It is clear that the sense of urgency felt by the residents to find a solution to this intolerable situation is not felt by the other parties involved. The residents are calling on all parties to work quickly to put an end to the national disgrace that is Priory Hall.”
An image on the Priory Hall Facebook page shows an apartment before the evacuation and as it looks today.