Tuesday 16 January 2018

No ray of light for Priory Hall residents as deadline passes

Sinead McCormack and Siobhan Ryan, residents of Priory Hall, at the candlelit vigil held last night
Sinead McCormack and Siobhan Ryan, residents of Priory Hall, at the candlelit vigil held last night
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

MORE than 100 displaced residents of the fire-risk Priory Hall apartment complex took part in a solemn candlelit vigil last night to mark the date when they should have been allowed to return home.

But the November 28 court-imposed deadline came and went with the 240 residents still in limbo more than a month after they were ordered by Dublin City Council to leave their homes over fire safety concerns.

The High Court initially gave developer Thomas McFeely and his Coalport Building Company Ltd until yesterday to complete the necessary repairs on the 187-unit complex in Donaghmede, north Dublin, to meet fire code standards.

Some work has been done on about 40 apartments but the building remains a firetrap.

Residents -- who have been forced to move temporarily into hotels, rented accommodation and NAMA-seized properties -- gathered in the rain outside their abandoned homes last night while security guards patrolled the darkened, barricaded complex.

Few expect the complex legal battle will be over in time for them to return to their homes for Christmas.

Among them was Stephanie Meehan (34), her partner Fiachra Daly (36) and their eight-month-old baby Cerys and son Oisin (6).

The couple bought their two-bed duplex in 2005 and moved in three years later -- only to find problems with leaking windows and bad plumbing from the start. They are still paying €1,600 a month in mortgage payments and worry they may be forced to pay accommodation costs as well pending a Supreme Court hearing on the case on Thursday week.

"It's just appalling. It's very stressful. It's very hard to deal with day to day things. You just don't know if you're coming or going," she said.

Irish Independent

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