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Minister Phil Hogan
Minister Phil Hogan
Image: Screengrab/Oireachtas TV)

Hogan on Priory Hall: 'I wasn't going to ignore the legal process'

Minister Phil Hogan said he could not intervene following the collapse of the mediation process until he was formally notified by Dublin City Council.
Sep 19th 2013, 5:45 PM 4,254 38

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER PHIL Hogan said in the Dáil today that a “full resolution for Priory Hall residents is the ultimate goal”.

Addressing Deputies Thomas Broughan, Terence Flanagan, Barry Cowen, Clare Daly and Mick Wallace in relation to Priory Hall, he said he wanted to acknowledge the resilience the residents had shown, adding that no homeowners should have to experience what they have.

Mediation process

Clarifying the whole mediation process debacle, in which it was previously stated that the he could not intervene until he received a report from Justice Joseph Finnegan who was the chairman of the process, he said that the mediation process was “triggered by the court process and I wasn’t going to ignore the legal process”. He added:

I was not party to those proceedings… Justice Finnegan reports to the council, not to me. I could not intervene until I was formally notified by Dublin City Council and when I was formally told of the mediation collapse I intervened immediately.

He disagreed with some of the deputies who said he could have acted sooner, stating that he had to take legal advice and couldn’t ignore court proceedings, stating that to do so, could let the people who are responsible for Priory Hall “get off the hook”.

He said he had given Dublin City Council, the Irish Banking Federation and Nama 21 days to produce a solution for Priory Hall, adding that it was important that the process not be “dragged out” which is the reason he set a deadline.

Independent TD Clare Daly said that the only reason the issue is being dealt with now is because of the Meehan family tragedy.

When Deputy Mick Wallace told the minister that Priory Hall was not an isolated incident, stating that he had heard of other complexes that could not be sold due to poor enforcement of building regulations, Minister Hogan said “I’m not going to take responsibility for my predecessors”.

When Deputy Barry Cowen piped in, Minister Hogan said, “I’m not going to take responsibility for your government, Cowen”.

Read; Hogan still expecting report on Priory Hall, despite reports mediation has collapsed>

Read: Priory Hall resident whose partner died by suicide welcomes 21 day timeline for solution>

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Christina Finn

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