Council forks out €3.5m on Priory Hall site
DUBLIN taxpayers have spent more than €3.5m to cover the costs associated with the Priory Hall debacle.
New figures seen by the Herald detail the hefty expenses incurred since the evacuation of the firetrap apartments in 2011.
And the overall bill is set to rise even further, as the council continues to deploy round-the-clock security at the Donaghmede site.
Figures released to Independent councillor Nial Ring reveal that the council has spent a staggering €3.53m in less than three years.
Some €1.36m has been spent on security, €542,000 of which was incurred this year alone.
The council paid out over €1.14m on the leasing of apartments and spent almost €400,000 on hotel accommodation for the displaced families. This money has since been recouped from the Department of the Environment, the council said.
A further €371,112 has been spent on the services of engineers while more than €10,000 was spent on salaries.
The council is still embroiled in legal proceedings which have so far totalled €92,507.
"Dublin City Council is and will continue to pursue all legal routes available to recover all costs incurred in relation to Priory Hall," the council said.
The figures detail the amount spent by the council up to October 23 this year.
Concern was expressed last night in relation to the spiralling bill associated with the Priory Hall debacle.
Cllr Ring said he believed Dublin City Council was shouldering too much of the costs, which he described as "incredible".
He told the Herald: "I'm particularly concerned about the spend on security. It's an enormous amount. I would welcome a court ruling so that we can once and for all draw a line under Priory Hall.
"The council simply cannot afford these costs. Dublin residents will be shocked to see that such a huge amount has been spent on providing security for a complex that is lying completely empty."
The councillor said the hardship experienced by the Priory Hall residents brought home the "huge failures" in building regulation during the Celtic Tiger.
"I as a public representative welcome the agreement struck with Priory Hall residents, which will ensure they can avail of a fresh start," he said.
"But in the meantime, the disaster that is Priory Hall continues to impact on Dublin taxpayers."