herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Priory Hall flats worth just €50k, according to council

LOCAL councillors have accused Dublin City Council officials of lying about a buyout figure offered to Priory Hall residents.

The accusations came after council officials said the proposed figure of €50,000 referred to the current valuation of the apartments at the complex.

However, Cllr Brian McDowell (Lab) and Cllr Micheal Mac Donnacha (SF) said they both took notes at private meetings and that the figure related to proposed buyout charges.

Both councillors argued that they have notes to prove it, and that council officials are simply trying to backtrack on what was previously said to allay anger among residents.

Limbo

Cllr Mac Donnacha said the proposals were made verbally by council officials and not written down.

He said he took his own notes during a recent private meeting. "The figures related to proposed buyout charges. I'm certain of that because I took down my own notes," he said.

Cllr McDowell also contradicted the council's denials, saying he is "certain" of the proposals raised at a recent private meeting and that he would have no reason to make it up.

But city manager John Tierney strongly refuted the claims.

He said although a number of proposals were discussed, a buyout figure of €50,000 was not among them.

Meanwhile, councillors unanimously passed a motion calling on Enda Kenny and Environment Minister Phil Hogan to meet Priory Hall residents.

The motion also called for a Dail Committee to compile recommendations on how best to deal with the situation.

Councillors argued that solutions were becoming a "political football" and the residents "deserve more respect".

Cllr Dermot Lacey (Lab) said "the onus is on the Taoiseach to engage with residents who have a right to be heard from a higher authority".

Cllr Mannix Flynn (Ind) said the residents have been shown nothing but "disregard".

He said they are "in limbo".

In response, council officials said they would issue a letter to the Government in an attempt to arrange such a meeting.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is due to fix a date on January 19 to rule whether or not Dublin City Council should continue paying for the residents' accommodation costs.

The court date will also take into consideration developer Tom McFeely's appeal against a jail sentence due to his failure to carry out remedial works at the complex.

hnews@herald.ie

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