Dáil debates

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

5:00 pm

Photo of Seán KennySeán Kenny (Dublin North East, Labour)

I call for the immediate release of the report commissioned by Dublin City Council from Hayes Higgins Partnership - Consultant Engineers, to all apartment owners in Priory Hall. To date, Dublin City Council has refused to provide this based on legal advice it received. I request that the Minister of State, Deputy Penrose, and Dublin City Council, advise owners and, in particular, owner occupiers who are obliged to honour monthly mortgage commitments whether suitable alternative accommodation will be provided for them if further defects are identified when the final report is received. It must be borne in mind that residents who may be obliged, on foot of the findings in the final report, to vacate their homes in the event of an emergency will require immediate accommodation. Taking a place on the housing list will really not be an option for them.

I call on Dublin City Council to take a civil action against the Coalport Building Company Limited., and-or the architect who certified the development in accordance with the building regulations. This action should be taken solely with a view to protecting the council's interests. From a cost point of view, it would make better sense if homeowners who, due to their current circumstances, are not in a position to obtain legal advice could join the city council in taking the action to which I refer. Who, if anyone, will undertake the repairs necessary to the buildings in the complex - if they are deemed to be repairable - in a scenario where the Coalport Building Company Limited has not and, it appears, will not attend to those repairs?

The residents of Priory Hall are at crisis point and the dilemma in which they find themselves is whether to default on their mortgages - thereby rendering themselves unable to obtain credit in respect of crucial items, such as another family home, for the remainder of their lives - or to continue to live in buildings which are unsafe as a result of non-compliance with fire safety regulations, faulty gas and electric installations and defective construction. Many of the owner-occupiers are struggling financially and are unable to obtain comprehensive legal advice. While some residents have received preliminary legal advice, most of them cannot afford to instruct a solicitor. Some solicitors who have been approached are unwilling to take a case against the Coalport Building Company Limited, and-or Thomas McFeely because in previous litigations Mr. McFeely has not paid compensation to plaintiffs and has a number of judgments against him personally, most notably one relating to the ACC Bank for the sum of €6.2million.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.