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30 April 2012 Edition

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Talks plan gives hope to Priory Hall residents

RESIDENTS UNANIMOUSLY AGREE TO TAKE PART IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS

Priory Hall resident Stephanie Meehan confronts Taoiseach Enda Kenny outside the Mylan/Gerard Laboroatories plant in Baldoyle

‘We call on all the banks to agree to engage also. There can be no solution to Priory Hall without the participation of all stakeholders, including the mortgage providers’ – Residents’ spokesperson

A PLAN to help seek a resolution of the situation at Priory Hall has been endorsed by the evacuated residents. A former Supreme Court judge, Justice Finnegan, is to chair a resolution process that is due to include residents, mortgage lenders and Dublin City Council.

Dublin City Council management has postponed until July its appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court ruling that the council must support the evacuated residents with their accommodation needs. The adjournment of the case is to give time to the resolution process. Had the council management won its case in the Supreme Court (due for hearing on 24 April), the residents would have faced financial ruin, being forced to pay rent for their current accommodation and mortgage repayments on their now uninhabitable and worthless Priory Hall apartments.

Speaking after the residents’ meeting which endorsed the resolution process, spokesperson Graham Usher said:

“For six months we have been being forced to battle with Dublin City Council, the Government, the banks and the developers in our attempts to find a solution to Priory Hall. We have persistently called for all parties to get around a table to seek a resolution to a disgraceful situation that the residents had no part in creating. We are pleased that Dublin City Council has finally agreed with us that this is the most reasonable approach to take.

“We welcome Justice Finnegan’s agreement to chair the resolution process and look forward to working with him to find an equitable solution for all parties. The residents of Priory Hall and Dublin City Council have now agreed to participate in this process. We call on all the banks to agree to engage also. There can be no solution to Priory Hall without the participation of all stakeholders, including the mortgage providers.

Local Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha, who has been working closely with the residents and who attended the meeting that endorsed the talks plan, welcomed the news as “progress”. He said:

“It is absolutely vital that the banks engage seriously in this process as they have to play their part to the full if a resolution is to be found.”

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