Wednesday 24 January 2018

Grieving Priory Hall mum says TD broke vow to help families

Stephanie Meehan
Stephanie Meehan
Rebel Fine Gael TD Terence Flanagan

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

REBEL Fine Gael TD Terence Flanagan has been accused by a bereaved fiancee of breaking his promise to help the families of Priory Hall.

Stephanie Meehan's partner, Fiachra Daly, took his own life, with the stress of being pursued for the mortgage the couple owed on their Priory Hall apartment being cited as a factor in his death.

She later wrote to Taoiseach Enda Kenny appealing for help for the Priory Hall residents who were forced to leave their fire-hazard apartments in Dublin more than two years ago.

But Ms Meehan has now criticised local Fine Gael TD Terence Flanagan after he put up a series of bus-shelter advertisements about keeping his political promises in the Dublin North East constituency.

She posted a picture of one of the ads with the slogan 'Keeps his promises' on her Twitter account, saying "#hahahahaha".

Although she is taking a break from media interviews while moving house with her two children, Ms Meehan confirmed through a spokesman that she believed Mr Flanagan had not kept his promise to make the Priory Hall issue a priority.

DISASTERS

Priory Hall residents' association spokesman Graham Usher said Ms Meehan's views about Mr Flanagan were shared by other residents.

"He made a promise that he'd make it a priority and he didn't. Priory Hall was one of the biggest disasters to hit the constituency during his political career and he didn't step up to the plate," he said.

Dail records show that Mr Flanagan did submit parliamentary questions about Priory Hall on several occasions and also spoke about the issue in the Dail, saying the residents found themselves homeless and in temporary accommodation through no fault of their own.

Mr Flanagan – who lost the Fine Gael party whip after voting against the abortion legislation – strongly defended his record on Priory Hall.

"It's always been a priority for me from day one. I've been at the meetings and the protests."

Mr Flanagan said he had told the residents' committee that Priory Hall would be either knocked to the ground or renovated – and that was what was now going to happen under Environment Minister Phil Hogan's plan.

Mr Hogan has said the Government would generate the necessary resources of up to €12m to put the lives of Priory Hall residents back together again after their "nightmare" experience.

Officials from the Department of the Environment are due to meet Priory Hall residents today about resolving their situation.

Mr Flanagan could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Irish Independent

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