Now Tom McFeely sneers at those he left without homes for year
CONTROVERSIAL Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely has ridiculed residents of the troubled apartment complex who took part in a protest march.
McFeely, whose career has seen him move from IRA activist to one-time millionaire property developer, was dismissive of their demands. Referring to the residents' protest march while he enjoyed a night out in a Dublin pub, McFeely said: "They were there for a day out."
The Co Derry native is now involved in a number of court actions arising from the collapse of his property empire. And as he sipped vodka in one of the city's best-known hostelries, The Bleeding Horse, McFeely insisted that he had "no fears" about being sent to prison, saying: "It could happen. I spent 14 years in prison. I'm not afraid of spending one day more there."
McFeely also alleged that many residents in Priory Hall paid their rents using "government cheques" and dismissed their demonstrations as "a joke".
Last week's march marked a year since Priory Hall was evacuated when 300 angry residents had to move out of their homes because of fire-safety concerns.
He said: "When I was still running that place, 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 Laurence O'Mahony, co-developer of Priory Hall, had not been treated like a "villain" because he is a "statesman".
McFeely is due to appear again in court on October 30 and has a week to complete a comprehensive statement of his affairs.
He could face a three-month jail sentence for failing to comply with an installation order relating to an alleged €24,000 unpaid debt. He was declared bankrupt in Ireland last July.