Wednesday 20 September 2017

Evicted McFeely homeless whinge as wife runs B&B

Developer's wife has 17 rooms to rent in Rathgar

Ronald Quinlan and Jerome Reilly

HE'S already a convicted criminal, a bankrupt and a thug with a penchant for threatening people who dare to confront him about a life in which he has given himself over to both terrorism and reckless property speculation.

Today, an investigation by the Sunday Independent further exposes Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely to be economical with the truth.

Only last Monday, McFeely whined to the High Court that Nama's decision to evict his family from their Ailesbury Road mansion had left them "on the side of the road".

In appealing to the court for sympathy and the return of his palatial pile, the former IRA man neglected, however, to mention the 17-room B&B his wife, Nina Kessler, operates in the leafy Dublin suburb of Rathgar.

Records filed with the Companies Office show American-born Ms Kessler to be operating the Abrae Court Guesthouse on the much sought after Zion Road since August 2010.

Further inquiries show Ms Kessler to be directly involved in the Abrae Court's day-to-day operations with business cards for the guesthouse even carrying her mobile phone number.

Not that the McFeely family could hope to take up residence at the extended Victorian mansion this bank holiday weekend. Responding to a call from the Sunday Independent last Friday, a member of the guesthouse's staff described it as being "very heavily booked".

All of which must have been something of a mixed blessing for poor Tom and his brood given how the Abrae Court offers prospective guests the option of "long-term self-catering" accommodation.

Efforts to contact McFeely for comment proved to be unsuccessful.

Responding to a call from the Sunday Independent last Friday afternoon, Ms Kessler for her part insisted that the guesthouse wasn't really an option for her family when it came to their being housed. "But I'll let Tom talk to you about it," Ms Kessler said before hanging up.

While McFeely is now understood to be spending much of his time in the UK, he was in Dublin last Monday to launch a High Court bid to take back possession of his former home on Ailesbury Road from Nama.

Addressing the court, the notorious Priory Hall developer complained that his eviction last August from the three-storey over-basement mansion had been based on "lies".

"My wife and family are out of the family home on the basis of an officer (of the court) telling lies," he said. Lawyers for Nama insisted there was "no merit" in his case, however, and asked for the matter to be determined as soon as possible.

While McFeely's appeal is due back before the High Court this Tuesday, a resolution to the plight of the 250 residents evacuated over a year ago from the death trap he built at Priory Hall has yet to be found.

McFeely made his contempt for the people of Priory Hall abundantly clear only two weeks ago, describing a protest march by the families as "a joke" and nothing more than "a day out" for them.

He also claimed that many of the residents had paid their rent with government cheques.

"When I was still running that place (Priory Hall), the majority of the rent coming in was from government cheques. The children brought out on that protest were there for a day out, for a walk through the city centre. It was nothing else. I get treated one way because I am an IRA man, a Nordie. I get treated like a villain in the Free State," he said.

Sunday Independent

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