Friday 30 September 2016

Council gives green light for sale of newly-built Priory Hall units

David Kearns

Published 06/09/2016 | 07:31

Priory Hall
Priory Hall

The sale of newly-built apartments at the former Priory Hall complex will go ahead, despite a move to increase the number of social housing units at the north Dublin site.

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Some 60 apartments have recently been completed at the former fire-trap complex, which was built in 2007 by former IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely.

Nine apartments will be retained by Dublin City Council (DCC) for social housing and the other 51 are expected to be offered for sale from the end of the month.

The rest of the complex is still in the process of reconstruction and the council hopes work will be finished by the end of 2017.

A vote took place in City Hall last night.

Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Michael O'Brien set out a motion to have all 162 apartments at the site be made available for a combination of social and affordable housing which was narrowly defeated.

"It is cruel and obscene in the midst of the current crisis to leave people languishing on the allocations lists, some of whom are homeless or in overcrowded situations, and at the same time the City Council whose prime responsibility is meeting the public housing need sells off apartments which could well end up in the hands of vulture funds," he said.

DCC Chief Executive Owen Keegan said that council was "honour bound" to seek a return on the €27m invested into the reconstruction of the notorious fire-trap complex.

"However sympathetic I am to using these apartments for social housing we have to have regard for the legal agreement we entered into," he said.

Risk

"I am warning the council that there is a serious risk that the entire Priory Hall resolution could collapse, and DCC could be exposed to legal complaints, if we try and void the contract we agreed to in 2013.

"I'm more than happy to seek future agreements on increasing the number of units at the site for social housing.

"These apartments are available now. We should use them. Any delays could mean that 40 families who might have a home this month wouldn't."

Herald

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