Dublin City Council’s Priory Hall appeal to proceed
Council is appealing order that it cover accommodation costs of evacuated residents
Following a €10 million refurbishment of Priory Hall, Dublin City Council plans to sell the former owner-occupied homes. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
Dublin City Council’s Supreme Court appeal against orders that it pay the accommodation costs of the 240 residents evacuated from Priory Hall is to go ahead next Tuesday.
A spokesman for the council said the case remained live, even though the deal to resolve the problems of the firetrap apartment complex has been accepted by residents and the council has agreed to pay their rent for another 12 months.
Under the deal brokered by senior Department of the Environment officials the banks involved have agreed to release owner-occupiers from their mortgages and offer them new loans to buy homes elsewhere.
Dublin City Council will take over the complex and refurbish it at a cost of €10 million. Buy-to-let owners will be given a two-year moratorium on mortgage payments pending the refurbishment.
Repay the banks
Following the refurbishment the council plans to sell the former owner-occupied homes to repay the banks.
The redevelopment programme will be “immediately initiated” according to the department and is scheduled for completion within two years.
The council has also agreed as part of the deal to cover the accommodation cost of the residents for up to a year or until they buy new houses.
The order that the council pay alternative accommodation and storage costs of the residents was originally made by High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns following the October 2011 evacuation of Priory Hall.
It is understood that the council is proceeding with the appeal to avoid a precedent being set if a similar case arose in the future.
The council, which is the statutory fire authority for Dublin, is seeking to secure clarification from the Supreme Court as to the scope of the council’s functions and responsibilities under the Fire Services Act.
The Act was used to apply for the 2011 evacuation because of potential fire hazard in the apartment complex.