Wednesday 26 September 2018

Priory Hall developer McFeely put his wife 'in fear', court is told

Mr McFeely is accused of breaching a protection order taken out by his wife Nina Kessler
Mr McFeely is accused of breaching a protection order taken out by his wife Nina Kessler

Bankrupt Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely has been arrested and charged with breaching a protection order by putting his wife "in fear".

Mr McFeely (68) was brought to court yesterday accused of a breach at his wife's home in south Dublin.

He was granted bail under conditions, including a ban on having any contact with her.

Gardai had objected to bail, stating that it was believed Mr McFeely was a "flight risk".

A judge deferred a decision on granting legal aid after a garda said Mr McFeely had the keys to a Mercedes car on him when arrested and he was believed to be of "some means".

Mr McFeely was released on bail and the case adjourned to Tallaght District Court on March 14.

Mr McFeely is charged with one count of breaching a protection order at his wife's home at Prospect Heights, Prospect Manor, Rathfarnham.

It is alleged he breached an order taken out by his wife Nina Kessler by putting her in fear at that address. The protection order was taken out by Ms Kessler on November 24, 2016.

The circumstances of the alleged breach were not disclosed in court and Mr McFeely has not yet entered a plea.

Objecting to bail, Garda David MacEoin said Mr McFeely had provided a London address and had told him he was due to fly to London tomorrow.

However, the accused had presented himself at Rathfarnham Garda Station, so there was no attempt to evade gardai, his solicitor Ciara Hallinan said when applying for bail.

Mr McFeely had "strong ties to the jurisdiction", with children living in Dublin, and family in Donegal and Derry.

He was a dual passport holder and would undertake to surrender his British passport, while his Irish one had been in the possession of the State for the last three years, Ms Hallinan said.

He would live with his brother in Donegal for the duration of the proceedings, which should allay any garda fears that he would beset the alleged injured party, she continued.


The garda said he had made contact with Desmond McFeely, who said he was the accused's brother. The defendant was welcome to stay at his address at Callan, Drumkeen, Co Donegal.

Judge Smyth granted bail in the accused's own bond of €500 with no cash lodgement required.

The conditions are that he is to stay out of the Rathfarnham area, have no contact directly or indirectly with his wife, comply with the terms of the protection order, surrender his Irish and UK passports, and not apply for any duplicates.

He is also to surrender his UK driving licence and London travel pass, live at his brother's address and notify gardai of any change of address.

Ms Hallinan applied for legal aid and handed a statement of the defendant's means in to court. She said the accused was bankrupt.

Gda MacEoin said Mr McFeely had €280 and £585 (€692) in cash, as well as two mobile phones, the keys to a Mercedes car and a number of bank cards when he was arrested.

Judge Smyth deferred the legal aid application to give gardai time to make further enquiries.

Mr McFeely, wearing a grey suit and open-necked pink shirt, sat with his arms folded throughout the bail hearing, speaking only to consult his solicitor and confirm certain details when asked.

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