Wednesday 22 November 2017

Sale of new Priory Hall flats blasted as 'murky' by councillor

Mr Kenny defended the sale
Mr Kenny defended the sale

Dublin City Council is facing a fresh attempt to block the sale of apartments at the new Priory Hall complex.

Solidarity councillor Michael O'Brien proposed a motion last night to stop the sale of two apartments to NPH Avenue Investments and one apartment to the director of that company, Julie Gannon.

The three apartments, valued at between €145,000 and €160,000, were originally listed to be purchased by UK-based Harley Holdings.

However, the council's assistant chief executive recently said legal formalities have meant that the sale of the three apartments has not yet been completed.

He advised that they should instead be disposed under the name of Julie Gannon and NPH Avenue Investments, a company that was only established on December 16 last year.

Deputy chief executive Brendan Kenny told the DCC meeting last night that, following a change in name of the purchaser, the matter was brought back to the council at the end of last year, where the disposals were approved.


"This is a purchaser coming back with a change of name," Mr Kenny said.

"It is not the case that the purchaser has withdrawn from it. It comes back to the city council for approval following a change in name."

Cllr O'Brien said he made "no apologies for restating basic principles that council-owned units should be used for social and affordable housing".

He described the planned disposal of the three properties as "murky".

"When the council does decide to privatise its stock it should show a preference for named individuals and families who intend buying in order to live in said units over investors," he said.

The disposal of the three apartments has been deferred until next month's meeting.

The first phase of the New Priory development, which has been refurbished at taxpayers' expense, went on sale last year and raised some €7m.

The sales come more than five years after the complex was condemned by fire safety inspectors and evacuated by court order.

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