News & Media

DCC comments about student accommodation completely out of touch

11 October 2021

Statement by Senator Rebecca Moynihan
Seanad Leader and spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Responding to Owen Keegan’s out of touch comments about the student accommodation crisis, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said the disrespect shown to students by the DCC head is belittling and wrong.

Senator Moynihan:

“The comments made by Owen Keegan today aren’t even worth repeating. It exemplifies the attitude of DCC to the planning crisis in the City and the desire of most people for a vibrant, diverse Dublin not just a property developer version of what that should be.

“Stories shared by students over the past number of weeks are really harrowing and demand serious attention from those who hold power in the city rather than snide dismissals of their concerns. I was really moved by the many student reps protesting outside Leinster House a number of weeks ago. Without somewhere safe and secure to live, our students cannot thrive. Students are not second class citizens.

“Mr Keegan’s comments just show how out of touch with reality he is, preferring to dance to the tune of developers by granting them change of uses rather than affect change for our students who are desperately trying to find somewhere to live.

"Rather than encouraging student unions to add to the huge profiteering at the heart of the student accommodation crisis, I would invite Mr Keegan to read Labour’s Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2021 which would stop developers using loop-holes in the planning legislation to convert purpose-built student accommodation into apartments for tourists.

“What message does it sent about Ireland Inc when the many students that come to our cities are paying through the teeth for somewhere to live or are living in cars or are commuting great distances? This developer led attitude is an insult to us all.”