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Fiachra Daly pictured with his wife Stephanie Meeham and their children Oisin [7] and Cerys [2]. Photo by: Independent.ie

Stress of former Hunger Striker’s Priory Hall apartment drove father to suicide

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Fiachra Daly pictured with his wife Stephanie Meeham and their children Oisin [7] and Cerys [2]. Photo by: Independent.ie

The partner of a Dublin man who committed suicide in July has written a letter to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, asking him to intervene in the Priory Hall apartments saga.

The Irish Independent reports that Stephanie Meehan believes the pressure of escalating bank demands for payment on his uninhabitable Priory Hall apartment, coupled with his stress over not being able to provide a safe home for his family, “eventually took its toll” on 37-year-old Fiachra Daly, leading him to take his own life.

In her letter, Meehan begged the Kenny to intervene on behalf of the 300 former residents of the Priory Hall development in Donaghmede, Co. Dublin. The property, described as “a fire trap” by the Independent, was built by developer and former IRA hunger striker Tom McFeely. In 2012, McFeely was declared bankrupt.

Priory Hall was evacuated on orders of the Dublin City Council in October 2011. Residents were assured that they would be able to return by December of that year, after repairs were completed. However, aside from initial inspections, no work was carried out.

For the past two years, residents have been faced with a nightmare scenario: banks are demanding mortgage payments on their condemned homes, while at the same time, the Dublin Corporation is challenging their right to compensation for temporary housing. It was this stress that Meehan believes drove Daly to despair.

Daly battled fiercely to get justice for the Priory Hall residents, and was a familiar presence at the marches and vigils  organized to draw attention to their plight.

In her letter, Meehan described her partner as “the happiest man on earth.”

“He lived for myself, Oisin and Cerys,” she wrote, adding that Daly never suffered from any form of mental illness or depression. That changed in the week leading up to his death.

“We received demands from banks, looking for payment of arrears on a property that we can't live in, asking us to fill out, yet again, forms to request an extension of our moratorium,” she wrote. “All for a property we can't live in through no fault of our own.”

Meehan noted that her life had changed drastically.

“I now have no home, my children have no permanent home, but most importantly, I have no partner and my children have lost their wonderful dad,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, she pointed out, McFeely got away “scot free.”

“He'll never suffer how we are suffering, he'll never lose what I've lost,” she wrote.  “He'll start again, I am left with a lifetime of heartache and my children will inherit that too. Is there any justice in this country?”

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