Priory Hall residents ask for Government help against McFeely

Tue, Jan 17, 2012, 00:00

RESIDENTS OF Priory Hall in north Dublin have written to the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter calling for the Government to help them fight developer Thomas McFeely.

The residents, some of whom were at yesterday’s bankruptcy proceedings, said Mr McFeely had “clearly led us all a merry dance”, following his successful bankruptcy action in the UK.

Priory Hall was built by Coalport Building Company, of which Mr McFeely was a director.

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

Work which Mr McFeely was ordered to carry out on the apartment block was not undertaken.

More than 250 residents are still being temporarily housed by Dublin City Council in hotels and other properties pending repair work to the apartments.

The council said it would continue to pay the residents’ accommodation expenses until February 3rd, at a cost of €135,000. It also said the cost of remediation on the complex could total €7.3 million, or €39,000 for each apartment.

In a letter to Mr Shatter and to their local TD, Terence Flanagan (Fine Gael), Priory Hall residents said they had seen an affidavit sworn by Mr McFeely dated December 2011.

The affidavit stated Mr McFeely had an address on Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4. However a document submitted in Britain for his bankruptcy proceedings five weeks later stated he had a London address, they claimed.

“Mr McFeely has travelled freely between Ireland and the United Kingdom on a UK passport despite being ordered to surrender his passport in October 2011, so is therefore in breach of the order of Mr Justice Kearns,” they alleged.

The residents pointed out that following yesterday’s court case, Mr McFeely’s legal representatives had said they would no longer represent him and would be applying to come off record.

They also said Dublin City Council’s Supreme Court appeal, of an order made by president of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns that required them to cover the costs of accommodating the residents, was listed for next week.

“Mr McFeely has clearly led us all a merry dance and has successfully declared himself bankrupt in the United Kingdom, which bankruptcy will be discharged in 12 months,” the residents said.

They said he would be “free to start again”, but the residents of Priory Hall would not have that luxury.

“We need our Government’s assistance to stop this man in his underhand tactics to avoid his responsibilities to us all,” they said.