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Banking Federation will not meet with Priory Hall residents

Residents say that the Irish Banking Federation has turned down two requests to meet with it. The federation declined to comment.

A photo of the exterior of Priory Hall where no remedial work has been carried out.
A photo of the exterior of Priory Hall where no remedial work has been carried out.

PRIORY HALL RESIDENTS’ attempts to meet with the body representing banks and financial services in bid to secure a freeze on their mortgage payments have been rejected.

The residents had been looking to meet with the Irish Banking Federation (IBF) to discuss an impending mortgage crisis for the 100 families who own homes in the in the abandoned apartment block on Donaghmede, north Dublin.

Spokesperson for Priory Hall Residents Graham Usher said that had hoped the bank would agree to a request for a meeting to discuss the matter.

“We’d been taking financial advice and were advised to try and get a meeting with IBF in order to get some sort of joined-up thinking,” he told TheJournal.ie

“The problem here is that as things stand, even if someone does get a moratorium on their mortgage, the interest still accrues and the debt gets larger and larger. You’re kind of getting into a spiral and it could just become unmanageable.”

Residents had hoped a meeting would allow them a chance to put forward their request for their mortgages to be suspended so as that no interest or penalties are accrued on the loan repayments for properties they are currently unable to live in due to safety concerns.

In response to a request made last week, the IBF said that it would not meet with residents advising them the banks would only deal with residents’ mortgages on a case-by-case basis.

“We’re surprised and very disappointed that they refused to meet us,” he said adding that the whole issue was becoming “infuriating”.

Usher said that further correspondence today had also yielded a negative response from the IBF which declined to comment. It met with Dublin City Council last month, a meeting which residents asked to be present at. But their request was turned down.

An IBF spokesperson said that the meeting with the city council was a “separate issue”.

This Monday will mark six months since families were forced to evacuate the complex over concerns that it did not meet necessary fire safety standards. Residents have since been housed in temporary accommodation, paid for by the council.

However, they now face a crucial Supreme Court date on 24 April where Dublin City Council is seeking to overturn a High Court decision that it pay for the temporary accomodation while residents are legally prohibited from living in their homes.

“We’ve tried to be responsible here, tried to meet with Minister Phil Hogan and with other stakeholders. We’re basically banging our head against a brick wall here,” Usher added.

Column: ‘I loved living in Priory Hall. I loved this apartment’

See TheJournal.ie’s full coverage of the Priory Hall controversy

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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