McFeely battles against jailing by court
THERE was no evidence Thomas McFeely deliberately flouted a judge's authority when he was jailed for contempt of court over works at one of his developments, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.
Mr McFeely has begun an appeal against his three-month jail sentence and fine for contempt of the High Court over works at the Priory Hall apartments in Dublin.
Dublin City Council, which brought the original High Court applications aimed at making Mr McFeely carry out the works, is opposing the appeal.
On November 17 last, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns found Mr McFeely in contempt of undertakings he gave to the court on October 17 to carry out a number of works, including fire safety works, to the Donaghmede apartment complex whose residents had to be evacuated.
Following the judge's order that he be committed to Mountjoy Jail for contempt, he was taken briefly to the Bridewell garda station until his lawyers lodged the Supreme Court appeal, which put a stay on the order.
Lawyers told the court yesterday that the builder had been removed from the Donaghamede apartments site before the target date for agreed works had passed.
That meant he had been unable to comply with the court order to complete certain works by November 28.
Mr McFeely was not in court yesterday for the hearing.
Opening the appeal on behalf of Mr McFeely and his Coalport company, which built Priory Hall, Martin Hayden argued his client was not in contempt of the High Court because the order against him was invalid.
The order jailing Mr McFeely on November 17 followed another application by the city council to court on November 4 to have Mr McFeely removed from Priory Hall, counsel said.
This successful removal application was done without notice to his client and it meant it was no longer possible for Mr McFeely to comply with orders that he complete a schedule of weekly work targets by November 28, which had been set by the court on October 17.
The hearing continues.