Priory Hall residents agree to resolution process


RESIDENTS WHOSE apartment complex in north Dublin was evacuated last year have said they are hopeful banks will be involved in talks leading to an “overarching solution to all the problems”.

Priory Hall residents decided at a meeting in the Trinity sports complex in Donaghmede on Saturday night to participate fully with a resolution process chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Joseph Finnegan.

The process, which is without prejudice to any legal proceedings, is to consider the position of the residents, many of whom are liable for mortgages taken out on the apartments; that of Dublin City Council as supervising authority for the building; and the condition of the apartment complex which is said to require €7.3 million in repairs, among ancillary issues.

Speaking after the meeting, Graham Usher of the Priory Hall residents committee said it was hoped that banks and mortgage providers would be involved in the resolution process. “I can’t see a solution without them,” he said.

“I think the banks have to be around the table with all the stakeholders.”

The Supreme Court had been due to hear an appeal by the council tomorrow against orders made by High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns requiring the council to pay alternative accommodation and storage costs of the 240 residents after their evacuation last October.

The High Court had ordered the building be evacuated on the application of the council arising from fire safety concerns.

Thomas McFeely, whose Coalport Building Company developed the complex, was not involved in the council’s appeal against the payment orders. His separate appeal against orders fining him €1 million and jailing him for three months has yet to be heard.

Meanwhile Dublin North East Labour TD Seán Kenny, who participated in a meeting between residents and an official from the office of Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore at the recent Labour Party conference, said he welcomed the resolution process. “For the last six months the Priory Hall residents have been being forced to battle with Dublin City Council, Government, banks and the developer in their attempts to find a solution.

“They persistently called for all parties to get around a table to seek a resolution to a disgraceful situation that they had no part in creating,” he said.