‘It’s Criminal Activity And It’s Wrong’


Fine Gael TD and Minister of State for Housing Damien English

“First of all, I want to say I wouldn’t excuse their [Take Back The City] behaviour to do with frustrations. I’m not sure what other proactive options those people involved in these protests have actually engaged in the system.

“There’s numerous ways, if they want to engage with local authorities to help us tackle vacancies but I’m afraid blaming frustrations on it, is not a good enough excuse in my view.

“Because I think their behaviour is disgraceful. I’ve no problem, if they want to highlight the issue. But what they’re doing is wrong, in my view, and it’s criminal activity and it’s wrong.”

Comments made by Fine Gael TD Damien English speaking this morning on RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Seán O’Rourke.

During the interview, Mr O’Rourke asked Mr English about his view of the Take Back The City action group and vacant housing in Dublin.

Fr Peter McVerry, of the Peter McVerry Trust, was also interviewed.

Fr McVerry said he can see the vacant housing occupation movement growing whereby up to 100 properties across the country may be occupied at once.

Listen to the interview in full here.

Previously: A Modest Vacant Housing Proposal

What’s Going On Here?


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42 thoughts on “‘It’s Criminal Activity And It’s Wrong’

    1. jon

      Maybe he epitomises the English mentality during the worst period of British rule
      What is obscene is the ineptness of government to house people especially as we own massive quantities of shares of Irish banks which resulted from billions of the Irish people s money injected into banks
      And NAMA
      Why can they not even house people in vacant flats owned by banks until they are sold or even the vacant property owned by the state agency NAMA on condition they vacate if and when property is sold?

  1. Anne

    First of all, I want to say I wouldn’t excuse their [Take Back The City] behaviour to do with frustrations. I’m not sure what other proactive options these people involved in these protests have actually engaged in the system.

    This garbled english is wrong, and it should be criminal. He’s hard enough to understand, without speaking in riddles ffs.

    10,000 plus untold numbers sleeping in sheds and couches isn’t criminal though is it? Zero tax and hundreds of millions in property portfolios isn’t criminal though is it? Noonan wining and dining in NY with the vultures isn’t criminal is it?

    Lots of countries have put a stop to foreign vultures buying property, but what do we do? Set up Nama, and invite them here for easy pickings, as the expense of the Irish Tax payer.

    1. jon

      He really is a vile little man
      I would take this to another stage
      I would occupy all public buildings and keep doing it until every last soul was living in homes not hubs
      I would not let anyone of them off the hook

      1. postmanpat

        Most people never have and never will feel the fear. But you cant say it. You have to publicly agree with the old “it could happen to anyone” line. I believe it will never happen to me, to be honest I’m pretty well set up at the moment and so are millions of other people, because like other people I lived within my means and was responsible. Put it this way, if I ever fell on hard times, I certainly wouldn’t identify and stand next to the likes (yes “the likes” ) of some of the moanyholes out there who blame all there problems on anyone else but themselves. Like those dopes outside the Dail today. Its unbecoming and pathetic. Id use my wits to get out of whatever problem I found myself in and as fast as possible, not go wasting time moaning on social media hoping the mainstream media catch on, on a slow news day. Like that yolk Cash and the police station debacle last month.

        1. Boj

          Sounds like you’ve lived a privileged life and should be very thankful for that and the guardians who obviously have set you on the right path. Not everyone has these opportunities or possesses the ‘wits’ to get themselves out of trouble. That is why as a society we recognise this and therefore provide supports for the witless (I suppose I should call ‘them’ that now eh?). But when supports are removed by ‘the witted’, what then?

          Your comment is possibly the worst thing I’ve read for a week! I didn’t think you were that bad until this! It has really annoyed me… It’s ‘the likes’ of you who would step on someone to save your own skin. Also, it’s spelled *their*…ya dope! Good evening.

        2. jon

          Anytime you could become sick
          Also another crash is on the way
          If this happens and the result is like the last
          We are emerging from virtual Armageddon with no lessons learnt
          This time we do not have the money the echechor had and like Greece will suffer a taste of austerity that will or could dwarf the last crash
          Remember the debt level here is massive compared to 2008 this time our state debt is five times what it was before the crash
          Our ability to pay is not good
          Those dopes are just people like you and me who are voicing themselves

          1. postmanpat

            the echechor ? (sorry I had to , but in all fairness I cant say anything with my bad spelling) . Yeah. okay I’m WELL aware or the looming crash , I’m trying to prepare for it. And those people are nothing like you and me.

        3. millie st murderlark

          I don’t imagine for a moment that I’m secure in my rental property. The fear that if my landlord decides to not renew our lease or wants to sell up, there is a good chance that we’d have nowhere to go is very real to me. Even though we’re good tenants and both in good jobs, it’s no guarantee that we’d find somewhere.

          It’s nice for you that you don’t have to worry about, but there are plenty who do.

          1. SOQ

            Due to its non existent moderation millie; at this point I expect Broadsheet is mainly commentators with nothing better to do, meaning angry men with good pensions… and paid communication trolls obvs.

          2. postmanpat

            The fact that you don’t feel secure in your rental property automatically sets you apart from the free loading moaners out there who think the state owes them forever free food and shelter , power, internet , top of the line prams from Keeleys, (ask the staff, they actively discourage working parents from going for the top of the line gear because they know it’s a waste of money , but they push it on the doleys so if you really think about it ,Tony Keeley is getting a tax break in a round about way , probably pays negative tax when you tot it all up ) uniforms for the kids, xmas presents . communion clothes, huskies, smokes, booze, sun holiday and what have you. plenty of leisure time to work on making more babies. Do you get any of this? Or do you work hard and watch your money get eaten up by a greedy landlord and still manage to save a bit by making sacrifices. Are you happy paying tax so doleys can live it up? Good luck with your rental situation. Good luck saving and getting more secure accommodation in the future. I’ve been there.But don’t feel sorry for the freeloaders, they are laughing at you and me.

  2. Otis Blue

    Gibberish spun at 100mph. Even the transcript is incoherent.

    Allowing for the lamentably bad standards of Minister and mini Minister here, this guy’s a bit special.

  3. CoderNerd

    Is this the guy who was on Vincent Browne’s show and when it was put to him that Ireland was taking part in the murder of innocent people by letting the US military use Shannon, replied along the lines of “Sure, we may as well get the money from it as opposed to some other country”?

    Captain Ethics. Him and Gda Robocop would get along great.

  4. Col

    “There’s numerous ways, if they want to engage with local authorities”
    What kind of ways are there? That’s a serious question. Does he mean tell the authorities the houses are vacant? They know?

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      There’s 10,000 people who’ve engaged with local authorities and they’ve ended up in hostels, hubs, hotels and hovels. None of these qualify as a house, nevermind a home.

  5. Giggidygoo

    No questions, or answers on the show about the criminality of driving an unroadworthy Thugmobile around the streets or the failure of the Gardai to deal with it? Thought not.

    1. SOQ

      Shhh, now quiet.

      An Garda Síochána cannot identify who owns a NI car so if it hammers down the M1, at speed, on three out of four wheels, no brakes, and painted florescent bright orange, we can all blame the new commissioner.

  6. Topsy

    Heard English talking some amount of poo this morning. O’ Rourke asked him a question and his response was ‘I don’t have those figures at the minute’ Did he think he was on the programme to talk about ploughing or what.

    1. anne

      He’s from Navan isn’t he? The people in Navan bring an interpreter into his constituency office when they call him to him to do with frustrations, just to translate his utter gibberish got to do with his responses.

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