Dumb it down
Priory Hall. Not just a hang-out for washed up celebs
Priory Hall is back in the headlines again this week and we look to find out more about the place that sounds like a rehab clinic for the rich and famous. (Via Sinead O'Carroll in Journal.ie)
By Brian Moss
Priory Hall seems to be constantly in the news. Is it a place for recovering alcoholics?
Not to be confused with the Priory Clinic, Priory Hall is actually a modern apartment complex in Donaghmede. It is in the news a lot because it was evacuated by a court order in December last year which basically left the residents high and dry.
What a sickener. Why did the courts get involved?
The apartments were found to be in breach of fire regulations and other health and safety concerns. Basically they were death traps in waiting.
So the buyers were sold a pup?
That’s one of the understatements of the year. People paid huge money during the boom for them and it appears the developer Tom McFeely cut all sorts of corners in their development. Yet some property developers still wonder why they are about as popular as The Sun newspaper on Merseyside.
So what happened McFeely in the aftermath?
Not enough, according to the departed residents. He was jailed over a contempt of court charge when Priory Hall was investigated but that was overturned at the back end of last year. The developer was declared bankrupt a couple of months ago and had to give up his luxury pad in Aylesbury Road. The heart bleeds for his plight.
Would it be fair to call the man a rogue developer?
That would be a polite term and certainly more restrained than others we have heard.
Has he had any run-ins with the law in the past?
He certainly has. He was a member of the IRA and managed to escape from Portlaoise prison in 1974. He was next imprisoned in Belfast’s Maze prison for about 12 years. He once spent 53 days on hunger strike and apparently was within days of dying before the strike was called off in 1980.
He has eaten well since no doubt. Why is Priory Hall back in the news?
Well it’s been revealed today that Dublin City Council have paid more than €630,000 in providing security for the complex. That money is being footed by the taxpayer. At a time when we could really do without having to fork it out.
What about the residents?
Well there were about 250 former residents who are now still in limbo, only some of whom have been rehoused. They have been involved in discussions with banks to try and resolve mortgage and rental disputes. They can’t live in their own properties and can’t sell them either. It's reckoned that over €7million is needed to bring the complex up to standard. It doesn't look likely to find a financial backer anytime soon.
What else is in Donaghmede?
Aside from Priory Hall, Donaghmede may have caught your attention in the past for being the hometown of footballer Steven Carr, singer Bryan McFadden and Boyzone star Shane Lynch.