Firm offers to fix firetrap Priory Hall flats for free
A DUBLIN company has offered to carry out essential works at the firetrap Priory Hall apartments -- and is appealing to other firms to join forces.
The directors of ECTS Elevators say they no longer want to see the "suffering" of the displaced Priory Hall residents and are offering the company's services free of charge.
Peter Murphy of ECTS, told the Herald that he believes there is the "skills and manpower" to restore Priory Hall to safe levels so that the dozens of devastated families can return to their homes.
"We're making this offer to carry out work free of charge and we urging others to do the same," he said.
"These people have lost their homes. We can't just sit back on watch them continue to suffer.
"There's enough skills and manpower out there. All we need is for people to come together and work out how we can sort Priory Hall out."
The pledge comes as relations between the displaced residents and Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely reach a new low.
Pictures in the media of him smiling after leaving a pub in the south inner city were followed by reports that he enjoyed a day at the Leopardstown Races over the Christmas period. More than 50 residents demonstrated outside McFeely's multi-million euro mansion on New Year's Eve as uncertainty grows over where they will live from February.
Residents were forced out of their Donaghmede properties in October after the High Court ruled that Priory Hall posed a major fire safety risk.
The ruling that Dublin City Council must provide temporary accommodation has been appealed to the Supreme Court, and the case will be heard in two weeks time.
If the court rules in the council's favour, residents -- many of whom have large mortgages -- fear they will be left homeless come February.
Dad-of-two Darren Kelly told the Herald today that emotions are running high among the group.
"People here are near breaking point. But we know we have to fight on. These are our homes. We can't just sit back and give up."
Darren and his wife Melissa bought their two-bed Priory Hall apartment four years ago for €247,000.
"The leases Dublin City Council have on these apartments runs out on February 4, but there's another court case on January 19, so we don't know where we will be once the end of January comes."