Wednesday 22 November 2017

Bank should still be ashamed of its actions

JUST two days after former Priory Hall resident Stephanie Meehan told of the tragic death of her partner in an incredibly emotional interview on the Late Late Show, her mortgage provider announced it will not be pursuing her or her later partner's estate for the 17,000 odd euro she still owes on their mortgage.

The move was probably inevitable, given the negative publicity surrounding the case, but what little consolation it is for this beautiful young woman who is now left widowed and trying to explain to two young children how unbearable financial pressures drove their father to take his own life.

The bank also apologised for any 'further upset' caused to Ms Meehan after the death of her partner Fiachra Daly, after it emerged a letter had been sent subsequent to his death informing the mother of two that she still owned almost €17,000 on her mortgage - even after her partner's life assurance policy had been redeemed.

How utterly worthless is that apology is now?

I cannot remember the last time I heard such a tragic story or one that has angered me so much.

What happened to Ms Meehan and her family is an utter disgrace and should never, ever have come to this.

The government should have intervened two years ago when Priory Hall was condemned and a temporary deal should have been made between the banks and mortgage lenders and all of the residents involved.

While no one could have predicted the tragic death of Fiachra Daly, a solution to the disgraceful Priory Hall situation should have been found immediately.

Taoiseach Enda Kenney has now said he will intervene. And the bank says Ms Meehan will not be pursued for the residual balance on her mortgage.

What good is any of that to Ms Meehan now?

Her interview on Friday night was incredible. She is undoubtedly one of the bravest women I have ever seen and if there is any justice in the world, her story will bring about change;

Change in how banks deal with customers who find themselves in dire financial trouble. Change in how the government reacts in such times of crisis. And hopefully change in how people look upon suicide and the devastation it leaves behind.

Ms Meehan says she is determined to ensure that her partner did not die in vain. Here's hoping she gets her wish.... it's the least she deserves for her unbelievable bravery in speaking out.

New Ross Standard

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