This article was originally published by Independent.
FORMER Priory Hall resident Stephanie Meehan had taken a step back from the spotlight to bring some “calmness” into the lives of herself and her children – but she says she is now in a “good place” and they are happy.
Having tragically lost her partner Fiachra Daly last July due to the stress of being forced out of their apartment in the uninhabitable Priory Hall development in Donaghmede, Dublin, their lives had been turned “upside down”.
Time out from media campaigns brought “normality and routine” back into her family life.
“I’m in a really good place now,” she said, adding that her son Oisin (8) made his First Holy Communion last Saturday.
“I’m happy and my family are happy – life goes on. And it’s only a short life. We’re only here for a short time so we’ve to make the most of it,” she said.
The mother of two joined broadcaster Eamon Dunphy and Independent senator Shane Ross in backing Independent candidate David Hall, running in the Dublin West by-election.
She is supporting Mr Hall because of the campaign work he did for the Priory Hall residents – but also because of the personal phone calls he made in the wake of Fiachra’s death to check she was ok. “He got on board when no one else was interested and supported us from the very beginning,” she said.
She added that the spiralling situation of homelessness made her “terribly sad”.
“Some of the circumstances are just absolutely appalling and to be quite honest I count my blessings,” she admitted.
“I know how hard it is to live in a hotel, because I lived in one for nearly four weeks, with two small kids in one room, and my heart absolutely bleeds for them.”
Stephanie revealed that she had spoken to a woman in housing difficulties earlier that day, urging her to “keep thinking positive”, and “never, ever refuse help and support”.
Several constituents encountered Mr Hall on their doorsteps as he toured Castleknock last night. Well grounded politically, they asked hard questions, with one bringing up a recent controversy involving an allegation of “racism”.
Mr Hall said comments made by him, caught on video and now the subject of a blackmail complaint by him to gardai, had been deliberately taken out of context.
“If it was true, we wouldn’t be backing him,” Mr Ross added.