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Tears of distraught mum and daughters forced out of home into a hotel

A distraught family who shed tears as they evacuated their home in Priory Hall yesterday have spent the night in emergency accommodation at the Regency Hotel.

Angela Corcoran and her two daughters wept as the reality of their situation brought their lives crashing around them and they were forced to flee the controversial complex in Donaghmede.

But speaking from their room at the Dublin hotel, Angela said she felt safe and secure for the first time in months.

Hundreds of Priory Hall residents are being put up in the hotel by Dublin City Council as it tries to sort out the mess at the apartments, which are being evacuated by order of the High Court.

"We will be here until Thursday, which is fine for the moment, all we want to do is get a good night's sleep and rest for a while now," Angela said.

"It wouldn't work as a long-term solution for us, but we are happy to be here for the moment. The room and bathroom are clean, and we can get by," she added.

But living in the hotel so far from Donaghmede has its drawbacks for the Corcorans.

"I've had to keep the girls out of school because they would have to get two buses each way to get back to Donaghmede," said Angela.

Sinead (12) and Niamh (14) might get back to school at the end of the week, but a lot depends on where Dublin City Council finds for them to live in the medium term.

"Niamh is in Junior Cert year, so I am anxious to get her back to school as quick as I can," said Angela.

"It is a temporary respite from this awful situation, and I must say the staff here are being so good and so kind, and they are very aware of the situation we are all in.

"And the fact that there are others here in the same situation as us means we are all rallying around each other a bit. But it is hard for families with young babies who need sterilisers and fridges and things.

"All we can do is take one day at a time and see what the council come up with next."

The rest of the residents of Priory Hall now have until Thursday to move out of the apartments which are being shut down so that urgent remedial work can be done to make it compliant with fire safety laws.

The work is expected to take weeks -- possibly months -- to complete.

Builders Tom McFeely, a former IRA hunger striker, and Larry O'Mahony, were in court yesterday to answer for their actions in constructing the complex through their company Coalport Ltd.

There were angry scenes at the court as residents shouted at the developers.

McFeely has agreed to carry out the works and has been ordered to submit a statement of means to the court.

hnews@herald.ie