Friday 28 October 2016

McNamara has 'gotten off lightly' says McFeely's brother

Published 26/10/2015 | 02:30

Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely
Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely
Longboat Quay builder Bernard McNamara

A brother of disgraced ­developer Tom McFeely has claimed builder Bernard ­McNamara has "gotten off­lightly" over the Longboat Quay controversy.

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Builder Dessie McFeely said the media and politicians had not subjected Mr McNamara to the same treatment his brother received even though both had left behind similar fire-safety issues in major developments.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, Mr McFeely said his brother had tried to "make right" the defects identified at the Priory Hall development in north Dublin, but was not allowed sufficient time to do so.

Mr McNamara, who has ­returned to the construction trade following a period in bankruptcy, has made no such offer in relation to Longboat Quay.

Residents of the apartment development in Dublin's ­Docklands are facing a bill of up to €4m to bring it up to fire safety standards.

Mr McFeely said his ­brother had been subjected to "a ­vicious onslaught" and "a public ­flogging" by politicians and the media.

In November 2011, Mr McFeely, whose ­development ­company Coalport built Priory Hall, received a three-month jail sentence and a €1m fine after the High Court ruled that he had failed to comply with the court's order to remedy the fire-safety risks at Priory Hall.

Referring to the fact that his brother was the subject of legal actions by Dublin City ­Council, he said: "Tom was given a three-month jail sentence and fined €1m. Tell me, has Bernard ­McNamara been given a jail sentence and fined €1m?"

Tom McFeely ­successfully appealed to the Supreme Court against the fine and the jail ­sentence, which was for ­contempt of court.

Dessie McFeely claimed his brother had been victimised by the media, in part, because of his political background. Before becoming a ­millionaire ­property developer, Derry-born Tom McFeely was an IRA ­hunger striker in the 1980s.

His brother claimed he ­became the victim of southern prejudice against northerners.

An offer by the receiver of Mr McNamara's former ­company, Gendsong, to pay some of the €4m costs has been rejected by the management company ­representing residents.

Mr McNamara has not made any comment on the ­controversy or any offer to contribute ­towards the cost of rectifying the fire safety ­shortcomings.

His company built the ­development in 2006 and he filed for bankruptcy in the UK in 2012.

Irish Independent

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