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Priory Hall builder asks for €2k a week to live on

Embattled developer Tom McFeely was refused his request for €2,000 a week "living expenses" in a fire safety court case.

The former IRA hunger striker turned property developer had his bank accounts frozen as a court ordered emergency work to rectify fire safety risks at the Priory Hall apartment complex built by his company.

His lawyer Martin Hayden asked for a variation of the freezing order on his accounts to allow him living expenses of €2,000 weekly for mortgage and other payments.

High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said he would allow him €1,000 a week.

John O'Donnell, appearing for some residents of the evacuated apartment complex, had earlier said his clients were not consenting to any payments "of any sort" to Mr McFeely.

More than 40 families evacuated from the Dublin apartment complex are to be housed in apartments provided by NAMA, and in accommodation from a voluntary housing body.

The High Court yesterday heard works to address the serious fire safety risk at the complex are underway.



defects

Fire chiefs are broadly satisfied with the progress made to date.

However, lawyers for some residents expressed concern about other possible defects in the 187-apartment complex at Donaghmede in Dublin.

They have requested building reports from Dublin City Council who earlier this month secured orders requiring evacuation of the complex and remedial works to be completed by the end of November.

The court heard yesterday some of the 240 residents evacuated from the complex are to be housed in temporary accommodation from next week -- 37 families are to be put up in apartments close to Priory Hall provided by NAMA.

Meanwhile, five families are to be housed courtesy of a voluntary housing association.

Other residents remain in two Dublin hotels and in accommodation sourced by themselves.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was updated yesterday on the progress of the works being carried out, on foot of court orders, by Mr McFeely, whose Coalport Building Company built the apartments in 2006.

The judge previously ordered those works must be completed by November 28, and the court will monitor progress on a weekly basis.

Fire safety inspector Donal Casey told the judge he was broadly satisfied with the fire safety works being carried out but had concerns about other matters at the complex not related to fire safety. There was a report indicating some mortar was soft and wall ties were inadequate, he said.

Having visited the site twice in recent days, Mr Casey said he was satisfied it was not necessary to take down the entire external walls of the complex and work could be carried out on sections of that.



wrong

Much of the external walls had been removed and he observed cavity barriers incorrectly fixed and in the wrong locations. The works carried out to date were broadly consistent with the works agreed.

Conleth Bradley, for the council, said the case was about reducing the fire safety risk to an acceptable level and the other matters raised were not before the court.

aokeeffe@herald.ie