Jun 062012
 

You might be familiar with Tom McFeely, the former IRA hunger-striker, who built a shit apartment block in Dublin, among other things  The unfortunate occupants of that block are unable to occupy the homes they bought from McFeely because those homes are a death trap.   I refer to Priory Hall, a place so dangerous the owners of the apartments had to evacuate the building, as I wrote about here.

The people who spent their life savings buying these apartments from Sinn Féin patriot Tom McFeely are now living in rented accommodation because they can’t live in the flats he sold them.  Why?  Because the flats this freedom fighter sold them are shit.  They’re rubbish.  Indeed, it seems that everything this selfless patriot put his hand to turned out to be rubbish.

Now, whatever about the unfortunate inhabitants of Tom McFeely’s shit buildings, you couldn’t expect a bona fide freedom fighter to suffer any more hardship, and that’s why his wife was asking the court for a stay on the repossession of his €10 million house.  That’s right.  I said ten million euros.  Tom is currently living in the land of the Old Enemy and couldn’t be present in court, leaving that responsibility to Nina, Mrs McFeely.

What was the pressing reason why they should retain possession of the ten-million-euro house, according to Mrs McFeely?  Simple.  One of their kids is doing the Leaving Cert.

Are you staggered by the effrontery of a former Provo, at a time when children in Dolphin’s Barn can’t go to school at all because their council flats are so squalid they’re killed by asthma?  I am.

Tom McFeely wants to keep his ten-million-euro house until one of his children finishes the Leaving Cert.  Jesus, how could you do the Leaving if you weren’t living in a ten-million-euro mansion?

This man landed his purchasers in hell by selling them sub-standard apartments.  He failed to support them when the problems with their homes emerged.  And now he hides behind his children when called on to pay his bills.

What a patriot.

I’d be interested to hear what Gerry Adams has to say on this debacle.  So far there has been a remarkable silence.

 

  46 Responses to “Former IRA Man Asks Court For Stay on €10-Million Repossession”

Comments (46)
  1.  

    Well? Did she get to stay in the house or wa?

  2.  

    Checking Léargas I notice the honourable Mr. Adams so far has neither have anything to write on this.

  3.  

    McFeely is a former Hunger Striker

    Sadly he failed in that endeavour as well!

  4.  

    Bock – Does it give you a hard on when anyone connected with the republican movement turns out to be a wanker. A little bit of news for you – there are wankers in all walks of life. I think your readers might have had a clue that this wanker was connected with the republican movement in your first sentence without you having to mention it again and again in your post.
    You are right this man is a prick of the highest order and you are right he should be called one, by the leaders of Sinn Fein. But your hatred of all things republican is all too obvious from the overall tone of this post.

  5.  

    The very opposite in fact. It’s about emphasising the fact that he claimed to adhere to an ideal but practised the opposite. That’s not an attack on republicanism, any more than exposing an abusive priest would be an attack on the church. It’s an attack on hypocrisy.

  6.  

    Bock – You might be interested to know that one of the driving forces of the Priory Hall protest was a Mr Micheal Mac Donncha Sinn Fein Councillor

    Quote from Stephanie Meehan (resident)
    I am a resident and have no leaning towards any party, but I feel my contribution here is necessary.
    Micheal Mac Donncha has been an amazing supporter of PH from the get go. He has given his time to attend every residents meeting and has turned out for every protest.

  7.  

    Anyone question where he fgot the seed money to get his building business up and running???

  8.  

    LJS — I don’t doubt in the slightest that Sinn Féin have done excellent community work. Their people are among the brightest in the Dáil, and put many of the FG and FFers to shame with their energy and eloquence.

    I feel very sorry for the Priory Hal residents who have been scammed by this man, but at the same time, I can’t see why the taxpayer should have to pick up the cost.

  9.  

    Bock – McFeely should be in jail, along with all the other crooks, who brought this wonderful little country to its knees. You are absolutely right. The tax payer should not have to pay. These people should be stripped of any and all assets they currently hold and they should be fucked into jail for crimes of treason against the state. Along with McFeely the list should include Bertie Ahern, Padraig Flynn, Michael Lowry, Fingers etc etc. The list is long, as you know.

  10.  

    Does the state not have any liability for the fact that some gangster built a dump of a complex, no?
    If there were inadequate regulations in place to prevent this, it’s hardly the residents fault. Is it not the case that if there were in fact appropriate regulations in place, Tom McFeely’s dumps wouldn’t have been sold to anyone?

    What about the banks too? Don’t they hold some responsibility?

    You can be damn sure if you were in the situation yourself, you’d not want to be paying for a mortgage for 30 or so years for nothing.. (when you’ve probably already lost thousands – a deposit and whatnot)..

    Of all the tens of billions pumped into the banks, paying off investors, to begrudge these people of moving on with their lives, rather than being lumbered with debt, seems very unsympathetic to me.

    Also, it’s probably just not possible for these people to pay the mortgage.. and also pay rent or get another mortgage for a home that’ll be habitable.
    So it’s completely moot in any event.. let’s deal with the reality.. they can’t afford it. Not gonna happen.

  11.  

    The regulations are perfectly adequate, and it’s up to the developer and his design team to follow them. Don’t forget that some architect signed off on this construction and that person must have professional indemnity. I think the residents should pursue the design team for their money.

    Should the state take on the cost whenever anyone gets ripped off or only in the case of housing?

  12.  

    Bock, I was reading this earlier –
    http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/column-another-priory-hall-is-coming-down-the-tracks-heres-why/

    This bit specifically
    “that the draft regulations misunderstand the sickness at the heart of the regulation system so badly that they may well make things worse”

    I don’t believe the architect should be made responsible..
    Agree with this, in that article –

    “The premise of the draft legislation is that a “properly qualified person” (an architect, engineer, or surveyor) should regularly inspect a building and warrant that it has been built without defect. Should this turn out not to be the case, the assigned professional is liable for financial restitution and prosecution…

    No designer can ever guarantee a building has been built to perfection, simply because they are not the ones who have built the building. To even begin to make such a statement, such a person would have to be on-site full-time ”

    Broadsheet had a post on this too.. with a cartoon done by an architect to illustrate his concerns.

    Here –
    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2012/05/22/an-open-cartoon-to-phil-hogan-from-an-architect/

  13.  

    Are you saying that a developer bears no responsibility for certifying that what he builds complies with the law?

  14.  

    Just on this bit too “The regulations are perfectly adequate, and it’s up to the developer and his design team to follow them”

    I don’t think there are any regulations to stop any goon setting himself up as a developer.
    And leaving regulations to be self governing, are not perfectly adequate in my opinion.

    That article suggests some improvements that could be made. Such as a National Building Inspectorate.

    We can’t rely on fraudsters to maintain regulations themselves.
    They wouldn’t last long in any event, if we had a proper independent authority ensuring regulations were adhered to.

  15.  

    Builders should be certified, I agree, but that has nothing to do with the building regulations, which are about the standards of construction. Furthermore, they are the law of the land, which is something we’re all obliged to comply with whether we like it or not.

    I have argued for a long time that we need a building inspectorate, but let me point out something to you. The city of Belfast has more building inspectors than the entire republic of Ireland. Now, if you proposed recruiting let’s say 300 additional engineers to carry out this function, don’t you think people would be shouting about the bloated public service?

    We can’t have it both ways.

  16.  

    “Are you saying that a developer bears no responsibility for certifying that what he builds complies with the law”

    If it doesn’t comply with the law, then I believe the developer is responsible for that, yes.
    I believe he should be made liable to pay for a competent builder to retify the building defects and if he doesn’t have the money his assets seized.
    I also believe he should be prosecuted.

  17.  

    “if you proposed recruiting let’s say 300 additional engineers to carry out this function”..

    I’d have no problem with that, as long as they were competent and you could get reports on their inspections.. and they weren’t in the back pockets of the developers.

    As it stands we can have any old cowboy setting himself as a builder, with no one ensuring that regulations are being followed.

    We can’t be saying tough shit to the poor misfortunes who end up putting all their life savings into a home that turns out to be a death trap down the line.
    We need to have better standards for all of us.. and if the regulations aren’t there.. we can’t be saying to the unlucky ones “tough luck”..
    someday it might be you!

  18.  

    What regulations are you talking about?

  19.  

    Just reading this –
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/1129/1224308280440.html

    “NONE OF the homes examined for an unpublished survey of housing built between 1997 and 2002 complied with the State’s building and energy regulations. The sample survey, which was commissioned by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland in 2004, showed many of the 52 homes examined failed to meet minimum insulation, ventilation and safety regulations”

    Shocker!

    I wonder is that why when my neighbour uses the ensuite bathroom, I can hear the extractor fan! And the two hyenas for kids feel like they’re in the same room..

    That other article stated this –
    http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/column-another-priory-hall-is-coming-down-the-tracks-heres-why/
    “I have been an architect for ten years… and I have never seen a Building Inspector”

  20.  

    “What regulations are you talking about?”

    What regulations are you talking about?

    What are we talking about again?
    Is someone doting?

  21.  

    It’s highly unlikely that an architect would see a building inspector apart from at a scheduled meeting. Building inspectors drop in unannounced and architects visit sites only at sporadic intervals. If this lad has been an architect for ten years, he probably spent the first four or five doing menial duties and therefore wouldn’t have been in a position to discuss anything with anyone.

    Your sound problem with the neighbours has nothing to do with insulation. It probably means the walls are shit. No inspection can discover such defects unless the inspector decides to cut holes in the walls.

  22.  

    “It’s highly unlikely that an architect would see a building inspector ”

    I agree Bock.
    By the sounds of things it’d be more likely you’d have an Elvis sighting in this country.

    My walls are shit huh?

    The last semi D I bought had the same problem too.. the walls are shit.
    Who’d a thought.

    Could they not ensure they don’t become walls, if the bricks are shit?
    What about sound (noise) insulation? Is that a separate issue to shit walls?

  23.  

    I explained why it’s unlikely an architect would meet a building inspector. If you want to turn it into something else, that’s up to you, but I won’t be engaging with it.

    There are many reasons why your walls transmit too much sound, none of them related to thermal insulation.

  24.  

    Yes Bock.. and I said I agree with you as to your reasoning why you think it’s unlikely that an architect would not meet a building inspector. (architects only visit at sporadic intervals.. etc etc)..

    I also added that it’s unlikely anyone would see a building inspector, period.
    Do you not agree with that?

    I’m not turning anything you said into something else.

  25.  

    It isn’t unlikely people will see building inspectors. It’s quite certain that site managers will see the building inspectors currently employed, even though there aren’t enough of them.

  26.  

    Ok.

    And RE my walls are shit comment.

    It doesn’t really help inform me of anything Bock.
    Such surety with such little information sometimes!

    I know a lot of people who have to put up with this problem in what would be considered pretty decent neighbours.. the regulations either aren’t good enough or aren’t being upheld and enforced.

    Don’t try to insult my intelligence and ask me what regulations please!
    The no shit walls regulations..

  27.  

    If you’re talking about the building regulations, there are clear standards laid down about sound transmission. Obviously your builder didn’t comply with those standards.

    It’s a good example of the problems with inspecting a new building. How would an inspector establish that the walls are inadequate to keep out sound? Should he set up decibel meters in every building he visits? Which kind of sound transmission should he test — airborne or impact? Both? Should he test every apartment? If he did, he’d spend all his available time on one block, testing only sound. Who would make spot checks on all the others? Who would check for fire resistance? Who’d check the thermal insulation? What about the structural stability?

    It’s very time-consuming work and it needs many people.

    This is the problem with things like Priory Hall. People assume tests can be done in minutes when in fact they take weeks.

  28.  

    “If you’re talking about the building regulations” ..
    what the giddy fuck have we been talking about?

    Yes, building regulations.

    Bock it wouldn’t just be my builder though.. most of my friends have the same problem in Semi-Ds in different areas.

    Surely the wall doesn’t have to be up, before the inspection can be done..
    I found this –
    http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/DevelopmentandHousing/BuildingStandards/FileDownLoad,1646,en.pdf

    It’s too boring for me..
    But it would appear our regulations are sufficient, we just have some major problems with adherence and enforcement of them.

  29.  

    To test airborne sound, the building has to be finished.

    And yes, I also thought we were discussing building regulations until you started talking about regulations for builders, which is a completely different area.

  30.  

    To be fair in regard to the Building regs, Planning regs and supervision during construction, the current system borders on the ridiculous.

    Some Background:
    For a Domestic Dwelling, A (sometimes) qualified person designs a building which goes through a planning process, yet that design does not go through any system to check whether the building complies with the Building regulations or the technical Guidance documents. THe TGD’s of course are not a legal requirement merely a “De facto” method of compliance with the regs and are not legally enforceable.

    This design is granted planning permission by a “Planner” whose only qualification is often a 2 Year “Town and urban planning” course and most have no engineering, construction or architectural discipline or background. Hence the current trend for a “design Cookbook” being produced by almost every County Council in the country rather than employing suitably qualified professionals. This “cookbook” gives the planners something to back them up when it comes to specifying the desing of houses that are “Suitable” for ireland. Last year, In Limerick County, Clare, and Limerick City councils there were 42 planners, 1 had an architectural background. The cookbook is supposed to substitute for qualified people.

    Now if the building is of a commercial nature, A Fire Safety Certificate application has to be made to the local Authority but this certificate when granted specifically applies only to the Design and not to the building, and often things must be changed therefore breaching grants of planning. During construction, building methods are often changed, layouts are changed and often the building finishes very far removed from the original designs (Planning and FSC). The final building is certified only on completion if the building is to be sold or paid for by a financial institution.

    During the construction of even a large building, site visits by the design team usually consist of a once a week meeting on site and that’s as often as anyone sees the works. In a domestic situation the Engineer/Architect/Surveyor often only visits a house if there are stage payments to be certified for a mortgage institution and then only sometimes. People will not spend the money on having someone check their house more often. Certification is usuallybased on a visual inspection at the end of the works and specifically disclaims any works covered up or unseen because it has to for the professional’s insurance to cover it.

    The system depends totally on the Builder knowing what he is doing, yet this is the one area where there is absolutely no requirement or legislation to determine who is allowed to build anything.

    The UK system is quite different in that the local authority charges a percentage of building costs to do the site visits (6-8 during the course of construction of a dwelling) and then signs off the compliance cert at the end if they are happy, much better but again cannot take into account works completed in between visits.

    The American system requires that suitably qualified builders are only granted construction permits but this also varies on a state by state basis. Again much better. After initial college training a professional has to do state exams to determine whether he /she is capable of supervising construction works. Builders have to be qualified by the state, electricians, plumbers and carpenters (For structural timber works) all need certification but this has led to serious corruption in some parts, but it’s a better system.

    The proposals that are currently under decision will only ensure that Architects/Engineers/Surveyors will be insured at much,much greater cost and that there will be insurance cover if something goes wrong, they will not prevent Cowboy builders or dodgy stuff being built in the first place which is the root of the problem. It is the builders that need to be certified as to their capabilities, this is where the system falls down. Then employ more professionals with construction, architecture and engineering backgrounds (Even better “Poachers Turned Gamekeepers”, to know the stunts you have to have seen them ) to supervise more often during construction and things will improve. Finally make it hurt the builder when things are done incorrectly and you might see a change in the current “Accident waiting to happen” which has been our construction industry up till now.

    Sorry for the hijack….

  31.  

    Isn’t there an engineer on sites full time?

  32.  

    No, Rob, there isn’t. Only very large construction sites would have an engineer on site full time. Whatever about the proposed change to legislation, there may well be a case to be answered by the design team. If a design is shoddy, the construction inevitably will be too.

    The architect who drew the comic sketch is being a bit disingenuous. Architects tend to be the design team leaders, and they get paid a much greater percentage of the fee accordingly. While it would not be fair to make them totally responsible for the build, they should accept that a fair amount falls to them. If one of the design team members screws up his element of the design, then the liability is something to be thrashed out by the insurance companies and courts.

    All that said, there should, of course, be a certification system for builders.

  33.  

    Thanks Mr. Geek! Very informative.

    You’d think having building regulations that are the “law of the land” would be sufficient and that’d be the grandest shur? That’s right.

    Bock, I’ve no idea why you’re saying this –

    “Builders should be certified, I agree, but that has nothing to do with the building regulations, which are about the standards of construction. Furthermore, they are the law of the land, which is something we’re all obliged to comply with whether we like it or not”

    They’re not complying.. there’s no system in place to make them comply.
    There’s no system in place to certified that a builder is competent even.

    I don’t why you make these completely redundant statements, in face of what the reality is.

  34.  

    The architect cannot be held totally responsible, if so they would cease to provide supervision services. On large jobs like priory hall it should be compulsory to have a clerk of works full time on site. Neither an architect nor an inspector from the council can be definitive about the compliance of the works based on weekly site visits.

    In relation to party walls in semi-ds, the sound regulations, like all the building regulations are constantly been upgraded. So the cause of the sound transmission depends on the age of the house.
    For example, say 10 years ago, it was acceptable to chase a party wall for electrical services. It is no longer acceptable to do so. Like most things, it comes down to workmanship, the wall needs to be constructed correctly to maintain the mass required to reduce sound transmission. Having said that, even when constructed in compliance with the regs, the neighbours will be still heard to a point. To avoid any sound transmission would require an extremely thick mass concrete wall

  35.  

    That depends on the frequency of the sound, and whether it’s impact or airborne. This is not a simple matter. In any case, the Priory Hall problems had nothing to do with sound transmission. They had to do with fire compartmentation.

    The general public should not be paying for the failures of builders and designers. This is a matter that should rest with the insurers of these people. Nobody would expect the government to compensate them if they bought a bad car, so why should we compensate anyone for buying a bad house?

  36.  

    under normal circumstances, sound tansmission associated with party walls is airborne. Impact would be more applicable to floors.

    I agree the general public should not be paying for the builders mistakes

  37.  

    Unless you’re talking about plugs and sockets.

  38.  

    the main issue with sockets is the chasing of the recess into the wall to receive the socket. chasing reduces the mass of the wall, therefore reducing the walls ability to prevent the transmission of airborne sound. Thats why workmanship is so important, poor blockwork where joints aren’t properly pointed greatly reduces the mass of the wall

  39.  

    We won’t argue about trivialities here. The fact remains that Tom McFeely built apartments which lack proper fire compartmentation, and this is not the fault of anyone but him and the people he employed.

  40.  

    Glad to see this thread coming back to good ol’ Hungry Tom McFeely the IRA man. Great to see him recognising the courts of Ireland, for hs injunction application, and of England, for his bankruptcy? Converts zeal, if ever I saw it.

  41.  

    Tom is a big believer in the justice of HM when it comes to bankruptcy.

  42.  

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0615/tom-mcfeely-has-british-bankruptcy-overturned.html

    “I maintain this is a breach of my human rights and that it is objectionable to expose me as a British citizen to the punitive bankruptcy laws of another country.”

  43.  

    Of course, if he was Israeli, we’d all be oppressing him.

  44.  

    whatever about his finacial dealings you bunch of cunts have NO right to slag of the uhngerstike or the brave men who took part it in. I dont any of you worthless fucks even put pen to paper to protest at the terrible event when it happened let alond have to courage to do anything of the sort.

  45.  

    Mind your language Bob. I’m guessing you have trouble reading, since there is no criticism of hunger strikers here. But even if there were, I still wouldn’t put up with you shouting like that. Behave yourself or you’ll get blocked..

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