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City in bid to cut off Priory Hall families

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Priory Hall residents at a rally outside the apartments in 2012
Photo: Tony Gavin

Priory Hall residents at a rally outside the apartments in 2012 Photo: Tony Gavin

Priory Hall residents at a rally outside the apartments in 2012 Photo: Tony Gavin

Priory Hall residents could find themselves homeless again as the debacle over their fire-trap homes rumbles on.

Their fate will be decided in the courts as Dublin City Council tries to get out of paying for temporary accommodation.

After residents were evacuated in October 2011 from the Donaghmede deathtraps built by former IRA hunger-striker Tom McFeely, the city council was ordered by the High Court to pay for alternative accommodation while residents were unable to return to their homes.

 

Precedent

The council's appeal against this decision will be heard on Thursday in the Supreme Court.

The High Court ordered the evacuation because of serious concerns over fire safety.

Some 137 out of 187 flats in the complex are occupied by private owners or tenants.

Priory Hall residents have said they will be forced to default on their mortgages if they are forced to pay for alternative homes.

"The precedent being set here is that ordinary people get screwed over and developers and banks walk away free," Priory Hall spokesman Graham Usher said.

"The place has been vacant for more than 18 months now. The only solution is to demolish it and force the banks to do deals to switch the residents' mortgages to different homes.

"Even if a plan were put in place today to fix Priory Hall, I can't see a way of it being solved before the end of the year. Realistically we are facing our third Christmas out of our homes."

Priory Hall residents have now called on Environment Minister Phil Hogan to assume responsibility for what they say are "the council's failings".

"Minister Hogan continues to sit on the sidelines while Dublin City Council drags the residents through the courts again," said Mr Usher.

 

Victims

"This Government has turned its back on blameless families who were the victims of a building regime that protected developers instead of homeowners."

cfeehan@herald.ie


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