Thursday 8 December 2016

'I won't leave, I'm staying to take care of my daughter'

Kevin Keane

Published 20/10/2011 | 05:00

John
Teeling and
his daughter
Charlotte, who
have refused
to leave Priory
Hall
John Teeling and his daughter Charlotte, who have refused to leave Priory Hall
Scaffolding arrives at the apartments
A resident holds up a for sale sign

AN AIR of desolation hangs over Priory Hall. Broken furniture lies in hallways, front doors are left ajar.

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"It's a building site and always was a building site," Sean McKenna said as he helped load his sister's belongings on to the back of a flat-bed builders lorry.

Mr McKenna and his two sisters were some of the last residents to evacuate Priory Hall yesterday.

All three siblings bought apartments in the complex in Donaghmede, Dublin -- a decision Mr McKenna said he has lived to regret.

"We're not coming back, ever. We don't care what decisions are made, no way," he said yesterday as took the last of his belongings from the second floor apartment he shares with his partner, Liz Kelly.

With a deadline of noon today to comply with an evacuation order imposed because of serious concerns about fire safety, almost all the 200 residents have completed the move to the Regency Hotel.

But some remain.

"I'm not moving anywhere," John Teeling said as he sat in his living room with his 18-month-old daughter Charlotte.

She was born with a serious hip defect and Mr Teeling and his pregnant wife need to provide her with special care.

"She's had three of four operations already and is due to go in again in a couple of weeks so we wouldn't be able to drag her in and out of hotels," he explained.

"She's going to have a cast from here down to here," said the taxi driver as he drew a line with his finger from above his daughter's hips to her ankles.

"I told them I'm not moving anywhere. They say 'we'll call the police' but I can't move."

Deserted

Last night the Teeling family were the only residents in the now eerily deserted block number five of Priory Hall.

Meanwhile, the National Asset Management Agency has supplied Dublin City Council with a list of 332 apartments in North Dublin that have been identified as possible temporary accommodation.

But some of the residents will have to spend another two to three weeks in hotels before the accommodation is even ready.

The apartments are owned by developers whose loans have been taken over by NAMA.

"Looking at the list, there's a huge amount of units available," a council spokesman said. "We don't just want to throw people into these. We don't want to misplace people. They have been through a huge amount of anxiety already."

Irish Independent

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