O’Devaney Gardens residents set to protest at City HallPadraig Conlon 11 May 2022
The Campaign for Public Housing, the Homeless Street Engagement Group, Dublin 8 Housing Action Collective, Forward Together and local residents have organised a protest at the special meeting on O’Devaney Gardens at City Hall today, Wednesday May 11, at 7pm.
The groups say that ‘the contentious giveaway of the public lands at O’Devaney Gardens’ continues to raise controversy almost three years after councillors voted to gift the lands to Bartra.
Last month An Bord Pleanála withdrew a planning permission condition banning the sale of homes to institutional investors, raising the prospect of vulture funds profiting from public lands.
Cllr Cieran Perry, local councillor and activist with the Campaign for Public Housing, called for Dublin City Council to withdraw from the agreement with Bartra.
“Dublin City Council have an ideal opportunity to rescind the rotten deal with Bartra as they are in breach of the development agreement with the council due to the delay in beginning construction on site within four weeks of grant of planning permission,” he said.
“Bartra have shown their primary concern is to maximise profits from the public lands at O’Devaney and have highlighted the naivety of those councillors who gifted the lands to them.”
Daft.ie reports that rents in Dublin have increased over 10% since 2021 and average rents in Dublin reaching over €2,000.
Damien Farrell, an activist with the Dublin 8 Housing Action Collective, highlighted the political opposition to public housing.
“The political ideology of the Government parties has ensured that public housing hasn’t been built on the public lands at O’Devaney Gardens and instead, developers will profit from the site,” he said.
“With rents becoming increasingly unaffordable, the logical solution is secure, affordable rental public housing but unfortunately the developers lobby is too powerful in Ireland.”
The latest figures from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive show the number of people in homelessness was almost 7,000 with children accounting for over 2,000 of those recorded.
Gina Ward from the Homeless Street Engagement Group, commented “it’s scandalous that public lands are handed to private developers while thousands continue to live in emergency accommodation is a First World country”
Ward said the groups intended to continue to oppose the giveaway of the lands and will do everything in their power ‘to stop this disgraceful deal.’