Construction Crime Law

Former IRA Man Asks Court For Stay on €10-Million Repossession

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.


Construction Politics

Priory Hall Builder, Tom McFeely, Gets UK Bankruptcy

Tom McFeely doesn’t look much like a hunger striker these days, but in his IRA phase, back in 1980, he went 53 days without food in support of demands for political-prisoner status.  Those were the times when the Provos justified every murder and robbery they committed on the grounds that they were fighting for Irish freedom from the tyrannical jackboot of the United Kingdom.

When McFeely came across the border in 1989 after 12 years in jail, he had just £240 to keep him going but he was a busy and industrious young man and before long he had created a lucrative construction business.  Unfortunately for Tom, his years in jail deprived him of many opportunities, and when he came out, he had no idea how to build anything but we Irish are forgiving people.  We’ll buy any old junk as long as it’s packaged properly, with a glossy brochure and some Flash Harry salesman touting it as the last word in elegant living.

Tom’s £240 proved remarkably elastic, allowing him to grow and grow, and not only in the waistband department.  Sadly, however, by 2006 the strain was beginning to show.  His Priory Hall building site was closed down after the Health and Safety Authority secured a High Court order.  The HSA inspector described the site as one of the most dangerous he had ever seen.

That same year, Offaly County Council took High Court proceedings to force McFeely’s company, Coalport, to carry out remedial work on Na Cluainte,  near Portarlington, an estate where 88 houses had been flung together.

Last year, Dublin City Council first evacuated all its own tenants from the 188-unit Priory Hall and later issued a closure notice on the complex because of serious fire-safety defects.

As we speak,  bankruptcy proceedings are before the courts, taken by  Theresa McGuinness who won a High Court award of €100,000 in 2009, because of structural defects in  a house constructed by Coalport.

Isn’t it ironic then, to learn that McFeely, patriot, freedom fighter and hunger striker, has sought the protection of the United Kingdom courts whose bankruptcy terms are far less penal than those in the Republic?

Isn’t it remarkable that a man who once took up arms against the Crown should now throw himself on the mercy of that very same oppressor, while at the same time there is no escape for the hundreds of homeless people who can’t live in his death-trap apartments but who must continue paying the banks for them?

After a year, Tom McFeely will be discharged from bankruptcy and free to start again, unlike those people who are burdened with crushing mortgages for the rest of their lives.  It will be a tight year for Tom, but at least he can fall back on that endlessly elastic £240 he brought across the border with him back in 1989.


Related posts


Former Hunger Striker Builds Shit Priory Hall Firetrap

Priory Hall is a residential development in Dublin, built by Tom McFeely, a former IRA hunger-striker who was last year jailed for breaches of the building regulations in the same buildings.

It was a rags-to-riches story as Tom McFeely arrived in Dublin at the age of 40, following his release from jail in 1989 with only £240 in his pocket.  Miraculously, within a short few years, McFeely had become a major property developer, with a home in Dublin’s salubrious Ailesbury Road, a €6 million holiday home in the Algarve and a hotel near by.

A remarkable achievement for a man who had given his entire life to the cause.  We should all be so lucky.

Unfortunately for Tom McFeely, while he might well have been able to recite the works of Lenin from start to finish, he had not the slightest grasp of the Irish building regulations, nor even the rudiments of construction, which is a major drawback if you want to be a builder.  And yet, this story shows what a wonderful city Dublin is.  As late as 1989, a man whose nickname is Nailbomb, can enter the construction industry, with no skill, no knowledge, no training and no qualifications, and he can become a developer of properties that young couples save up to buy, sacrificing all their lives until they can raise sufficient funds.

And in return for their money he can give them shit.

I wonder how that fits in with Tom McFeely’s republican ideals?

Isn’t that a great freedom fighter?  Leaving hundreds of young people in financial slavery with worthless property because he wasn’t able to build them a proper home.

Wouldn’t it make you proud to be Irish?

I know what the owners of these worthless properties should be telling Tom McFeely: Tiocfaidh ár lá.