The Sinn Féin group on Dublin City Council has called for the resignation of the Chief Executive Owen Keegan.
This comes following a complaint made by UCD Students' Union about student accommodation being used for short-term letting in the capital in which Owen Keegan responded that if students’ unions had concerns about access to accommodation they should consider building their own.
Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan has said the position of Mr Keegan is now untenable, and his comments to students reveal an ideological position totally at variance with the housing needs of Dublin.
The President of UCDSU, Ruairi Power, tweeted on Monday about what he called Mr Keegan’s “innovative solution to the housing crisis”, after the students’ union raised concerns with the council about empty third-level accommodation being converted into tourist accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
DCC CEO Owen Keegan’s innovative solution to the housing crisis is…. Students’ Unions becoming property developers.
— Ruairí Power (@RuairiPower_) October 11, 2021
Minister Higher Education Simon Harris called the comments by the Dublin City Council boss on student housing “dismissive and sarcastic”.
On Monday a spokesperson for Dublin City Council said: “The chief executive does not wish to make a statement on this.”
UCD Students' Union are now calling for a demonstration outside Dublin City Council’s offices in response to the comments made by Mr Keegan.
“Keegan’s comments show a complete disregard for the crisis facing students and young people in the private rental market,” the union said in a statement.
“While students face an epidemic of houselessness and skyrocketing rents, Keegan’s suggestion that UCD Students’ Union enter the ‘the market itself’ shows he is more interested in passing snide comments than alleviating the ever-worsening crisis that he has presided over.”