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Thursday 19 September 2019

Priory Hall pleas are 'falling on deaf ears' – resident

Taoiseach Enda Kenny talking to Stephanie Meehan, who was protesting with other Priory Hall residents, in 2012
Taoiseach Enda Kenny talking to Stephanie Meehan, who was protesting with other Priory Hall residents, in 2012
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

A PRIORY Hall resident believes pleas over the immense pressure he and other residents are under are falling on "deaf ears" – only a day after a woman revealed that the stress drove her partner to suicide.

Mother-of-two Stephanie Meehan – whose life forever changed when her partner, Fiachra Daly, took his own life – was last night awaiting a response to her heartfelt "open letter" to Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Ms Meehan, one of many homeowners at the firetrap north Dublin housing complex built by IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely, was sent an automated message saying her email had been received. Darren Kelly, also a father of two, told how his friend and campaigner on behalf of all the Priory Hall residents would "do anything for anybody".

"Over a year ago I managed to doorstep Enda Kenny in Baldoyle. I told him on the day we had a near miss with another resident over the Christmas. . .It feels like any pressure we are putting on anybody is all falling on deaf ears," said Mr Kelly, in reference to their contact with all of the state bodies and the banks.

"It is totally unacceptable."

Heartbroken Ms Meehan said the stress and pressure on her partner Mr Daly "eventually took its toll" and he took his own life on July 15 at the age of 37. It came only a week after Mr Daly, father of Oisin (7) and Cerys (2), received payment demands from his bank.

Mr Kelly (40), who is married to Melissa and has two children Evan (4) and Sophie (2), told how he picked up his post yesterday only to get a letter from his bank describing him as a "non co-operative" borrower and telling him to call them.


"This comes even though we have a moratorium at the moment. I suppose these are automated letters but it puts your heart crossways," he said.

The taxi driver, who bought his apartment for €255,000 off plan in 2005, told how he had stopped looking at the arrears accruing on their mortgage for his "own sanity. . . We are just hoping that something comes out of the mediation process that is acceptable to everybody," said Mr Kelly.

Priory Hall residents were forced to abandon their homes in 2011 after the council's fire authorities deemed it unsafe to live in. Many of the families are living in temporary accommodation, some paid for by Dublin City Council, as a mediation process between the council and the financial institutions carrying the mortgages continues.

Spokesman and resident Graham Usher pointed out that the mediation process was supposed to take three months but was still ongoing 16 months later.

So far, Dublin City Council has paid out more than €3.1m dealing with the fallout from the Priory Hall controversy.

The council is due to go to the Supreme Court in October to appeal a decision ordering them to pay for the residents' temporary accommodation.

Irish Independent

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