City council to sue McFeely over ‘defective’ Priory Hall apartments

Dublin City Council is to sue bankrupt developer Thomas McFeely and others over what it claims are “defective” apartments at the Priory Hall complex.

Mr McFeely’s company developed Priory Hall in Donaghmede, Dublin. It was closed last year by order of the High Court amid fire safety concerns. More than 250 residents had to leave.

At the High Court, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne granted Dublin City Council permission to bring proceedings against Mr McFeely, whom the court had previously adjudged to be bankrupt.

Denis McDonald, for the council, told the court that Dublin City Council leased 27 apartments a Priory Hall. Mr McFeely, was the mortgagee of eight of those apartments, counsel said.

Mr McDonald said that, despite being a bankrupt, Dublin City Council wanted to include Mr McFeely in the action because the developer could be found liable by the court.

It could also be the case, he added, that Mr McFeely may be successful in his application to have the court’s decision to adjudicate him bankrupt reviewed. That review is to be heard next month.

In July, the High Court declared the developer bankrupt.

He was previously adjudicated bankrupt in the UK by a London court. That decision was rescinded following a challenge by a woman who brought bankruptcy proceedings here against Mr McFeely over failure of one of his companies to pay a court award of €100,000 to her.

Theresa McGuinness, from Rush, Co Dublin, had asked the High Court to declare his main centre of interests was the Republic of Ireland. Mr McFeely opposed her application, arguing that he would be aged 76 by the time he could get back into business if he was declared bankrupt in Ireland. It would be just a year if he was adjudicated bankrupt in the UK.

Bernard Dunleavy, for the official assignee Chris Lehane, the court-appointed official who distributes a bankrupt’s assets to their creditors, said his client had no objection to Dublin City Council’s application.

The judge, who said Dublin City Council was making a “somewhat unusual” application, said she was prepared to grant permission to bring the action.

The order was granted ex parte. Neither Mr McFeely nor any legal representative were present in court.

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