Council to appeal Priory Hall court order
THE fate of the former residents of the infamous Priory Hall complex was thrown into further doubt last night when Dublin City Council revealed it plans to fight a High Court order to accommodate them.
The apartment block's 240 residents were told to leave their homes last month following court application by the council's fire authority.
Fire chiefs said there were serious safety concerns about a fire breaking out in one apartment and engulfing the entire building. Many of the displaced residents, including families with young children, have been housed in hotels.
Those who own their own apartments have been provided with accommodation from the National Asset Management Agency and a housing trust as well as the council.
Last week, developer Thomas McFeely and his company Coalport were ordered off the site after the court found he had breached the order directing him to carry out works to fix problems at Priory Hall within a certain timeframe.
The court also directed the council to meet the cost of the residents' temporary accommodation.
In the case of residents who are in receipt of rent supplements, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns directed the council meet the shortfalls where alternative rented accommodation is more expensive than Priory Hall. However, yesterday evening, solicitors acting on behalf of the residents received notification from the local authority that it intends to appeal Mr Justice Kearns' order.
The city council will claim that the High Court president erred in ordering it to assume responsibility for accommodating them and did not have jurisdiction to do so under the Fire Services Act.
David Hall spokesman for homeowner's advocacy group New Beginnings who are helping some of the residents said: "This is a very unwelcome development from Dublin City Council and is the last thing the residents wanted to hear, the residents' only hope is the judge. This inhumane attitude adopted by the council is very unwelcome and further compounds suffering of residents in a most uncertain time in their lives."
The case continues today.