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Minister for Environment refuses to meet Priory Hall residents

Phil Hogan said that he “cannot interfere in individual cases”, despite the ongoing uncertainty for former residents of the Dublin apartment complex.

Residents of Priory Hall protesting outside the Dáil yesterday
Residents of Priory Hall protesting outside the Dáil yesterday
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR the Environment does not plan to meet with former residents of Priory Hall, despite their requests for a meeting.

The former residents of the Donaghmede development held a protest outside the Dáil yesterday, and asked Phil Hogan to meet with them in an attempt to resolve the ongoing uncertainty over where they will live.

Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis has said that Phil Hogan has “no excuse” for not meeting with the residents to discuss their case.

“They (the residents) should not have to hold a picket to get a meeting with the Minister,” Ellis told the Dáil this afternoon.

“If it was in his own constituency of Carlow-Kilkenny he’d be down there talking to them… regardless of whether there’s a Supreme Court appeal”.

Phil Hogan was not in the Dáil to respond to the questions, but reading from a speech prepared by the Minister, Ciaran Cannon TD said that the Minister had to “respect the independence of the designated authority” of Dublin City Council and that he “cannot interfere in individual cases”.

Cannon, on behalf of Phil Hogan, said that the Minister has “no role” in relation to direct provision of housing services and stressed that it is important that the Minister “acts appropriately in his powers”.

Ellis objected, saying that the residents had “just asked the Minister to come out to them and listen”.

Labour TD Tommy Broughan decribed the ongoing wrangle as a “legal no-man’s land”.

Locked out residents of the Priory Hall apartment complex yesterday protested outside the Dáil over their ongoing plight.

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Residents were forced to leave their homes last month when Dublin City Council ordered that the apartments breached fire safety legislation.

The issue of who should pay for housing the residents is a matter of some dispute, with Dublin City Council claiming that it doesn’t have the money to pay for alternative accommodation.

The developer of the complex, Thomas McFeely, last week was sentenced to jail for three months and a fine of €1 million for contempt of court orders relating to his development. The judge in the case later granted McFeely a reprieve against the sentence.

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