Monday 18 February 2019

Priory Hall residents 'can move on' – thanks to brave Stephanie

Stephanie Meehan and other Priory Hall residents after the meeting with the Taoiseach at Government Buildings
Stephanie Meehan and other Priory Hall residents after the meeting with the Taoiseach at Government Buildings
Ms Meehan with her late partner Fiachra Daly

Fiach Kelly

THE bereaved fiancee of tragic Priory Hall resident Fiachra Daly says the residents can move on with their lives after accepting a mortgage offer from the Government, but added the "nightmare" isn't over for her.

Stephanie Meehan, whose partner took his own life, was speaking after the residents of Priory Hall accepted the Government's deal, and said: "The nightmare is over for all the residents – but it is not over for me."

She said: "I think now from today we can start to move forward with our lives. The only difficulty here is, and what I would wish for today, would be if Fiachra was here to celebrate this moving forward with me.

"That is the downside, but the upside is that we can move on with our lives."

The residents met Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Government Buildings, and Mr Kenny also said he hoped the families affected could now move on.

He said residents forced to leave Priory Hall's "fire traps in horrendous circumstances" now have "new direction, new life, new hope".

The deal will see the families having their mortgages written off and getting loans for new properties.

A resolution framework to resolve the difficulties has also been agreed, and Dr Martin McAleese will chair an oversight board, which will look after the deal.

Graham Usher, from the Priory Hall residents' group, said the deal wouldn't have been possible without Ms Meehan's bravery in coming forward and speaking about her partner Fiachra's death.

He also told the Taoiseach the Government could have stepped in long ago, but said it the most important thing was it had finally acted. And he added: "Most of all I would like to thanks Stephanie Meehan. A little over a month ago Stephanie made the brave decision to speak out about the death of her partner Fiachra.

"It was Stephanie's strength and dignity that made this Government finally take note of the national disgrace that is Priory Hall and it brought them to act.

"The price Stephanie has paid is more than anyone should have to bear and every resident owes her a debt of gratitude for what she has done."

Ms Meehan said the Taoiseach "was very sympathetic" at their meeting.

Irish Independent

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