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Priory Hall man wins appeal over fire case

BANKRUPT property developer Larry O'Mahony has succeeded in overturning a conviction and suspended sentence he was given for alleged fire safety breaches at the Priory Hall apartment complex.

His conviction was dropped after Dublin City Council decided not to contest his appeal.

Mr O'Mahony had been given a one-month suspended sentence and fined €1,000 for an alleged contravention of a fire safety notice that was served in 2010.

His appeal had been contested by the city council and was due to be heard at Dublin Circuit Court.


Judge Tony Hunt said he was allowing an application by the council to set aside the earlier order made by a District Court judge. This means that the conviction against Mr O'Mahony, of Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, no longer stands.

The developer is the former business partner of Tom McFeely, director of the company behind Coalport Ltd, which built the "dangerous" apartment complex in Donaghmede.

The 187-unit complex in Donaghmede was evacuated in October on foot of a High Court order after it was found to be a fire hazard.

In the District Court case last April, the offence alleged against Mr O'Mahony had been that, on January 14, 2010, at Priory Hall's north and south blocks, it being a potentially dangerous building, he contravened a fire safety notice.

He had been fined €1,000, with six months to pay and 45 days in prison in default.

But when the appeal came before Judge Hunt in the Circuit Court, a barrister for the council asked the judge to allow the appeal and dismiss the order of the District Court.

Mr O'Mahony never had any role in Coalport and had nothing to do with Priory Hall since 2009, his lawyers told previous hearings at the High Court.

McFeely later received a six-month suspended prison sentence and a €3,000 fine over lapses at Priory Hall, which a court heard was not built according to planning permission.