Bankrupt McFeely fights for legal costs over Priory Hall

Tim Healy

BANKRUPT developer Thomas McFeely is seeking the legal costs of part of a High Court battle over the 2011 evacuated Priory Hall apartment complex in Dublin.

High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said yesterday he will give a decision later on Mr McFeely's application after he has considered written submissions.

Mr McFeely, who was not in court yesterday, sought the costs of two days in the High Court in November 2011 which resulted in Mr Justice Kearns jailing him for three months and fining him €1m for breaching an undertaking he gave to the court the previous month in relation to the fire safety works at the complex in Donaghmede.


He appealed and last July the Supreme Court ruled he could not have been held to be in breach of his undertaking because he had been ordered off the site by the court.

The Supreme Court also ordered the issue of costs for the two days of the case should go back to the High Court.

Frank Crean, for Mr McFeely, said he was seeking an order for costs for the two days against Dublin City Council who had brought the original proceedings over Priory Hall against his client.

Conleth Bradley, for the council, opposed the application and said his client was in turn seeking costs against Mr McFeely.

Although the Supreme Court found in favour of Mr McFeely in relation to the undertaking , there was a finding of fact by the High Court that he had not done these works and Mr McFeely himself had accepted he had not complied with that undertaking, counsel said.

Mr Justice Kearns, who said he could not go behind the decision of the Supreme Court, said he had a clear recollection of Mr McFeely sitting in the witness box "putting up his hand and accepting full responsibility".

The judge also expressed unhappiness about the fact that Mr McFeely's lawyers did not ask his court for a note of the order it had made jailing and fining him before his lawyers went straight to the Supreme Court to lodge an appeal.