Passed Under Garda Protection


Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin tweetz:

A lot confusion over figures involved in O’Devaney Gardens deal. [Above] is a table based on the [city council] manager’s report from yesterday. It shows that there is no affordable purchase or rental homes in the deal and the massive gains for Bartra from land value extraction and profit.



O’Devaney Gardens site in Dublin 7; at a Dublin City Council meeting last night; Social Democrats councillor Gary Gannon being escorted last night from the meeting as he was followed by protestors against a deal over the site

Last night.

At a meeting of Dublin City Council in Dublin City Hall.

Activists entered the chamber of city hall in a reported attempt to stop a council vote to ratify a €7million deal with developers Bartra Capital for the regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin 7.

The vote went ahead despite the protest and the deal was approved by 39 votes to 18.

Olivia Kelly, in The Irish Times, reports this morning:

“The deal, which was approved by 39 votes to 18, will see more than 800 new homes on the site of the former flat complex close to the Phoenix Park, 30 per cent of them to be used for social housing and 20 per cent for affordable purchase.

“The remaining 50 per cent are described as “developer units”, which Bartra can sell at a profit.”

Some councillors who voted in favour of the deal, including Social Democrats councillor Gary Gannon, were escorted from the meeting by gardai after it concluded.


From the Social Democrats’ manifesto in this year’s local elections…


Former Dublin City Councillor with the Workers’ Party Éilís Ryan tweeted last night…

“So, it’s a done deal. The Green Party, Labour, Social Democrats, through either ignorance or malice, have sold off the last hope for public housing in Dublin City. They have reminded me, once again, why I am a socialist – not a “social democrat.” Compromise is not a good plan in 2019.

“I broke down the numbers of their so-called “affordable” housing” deal – a €150K/unit public handout to Bartra capital for affordable purchase, and “affordable rental” purchased for €500K/unit by the state – requiring rents of €1,600/month.

“€1600 / month for 30 years is the rent that will be required to repay the cost of those €500,000 units we are buying from Bartra.

“And at €1,600/month, the rent will be 60% the average household income in Dublin.

“We gave them our land, now we are buying housing back from them, covering their profits while we are at it.

“It’s a developer’s dream come true.

“Was there an alternative? In 2016, a majority of city councillors supported my Workers’ Party motion for mixed income, public housing on the site.

“Then they backed down.”

Previously: O’Devaney’s D-Day

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50 thoughts on “Passed Under Garda Protection

  1. Rob_G

    Blocks of flats composed of 100% of social housing; what a great idea, I can’t imagine what could possibly go wrong. I can’t imagine how Cllr Ryan failed to re-elected with such original and well-thought out ideas…

    And while I generally think that Gary Gannon is a virtue signalling non-entity, he is an elected representative of the people, and indeed a citizen – he should be able to walk down the street without being harassed by those mouth-breathers.

    1. BobbyJ

      Cllr Ryan’s motion was for “mixed income, public housing”, stop trying to twist it to suit your developer led/for profit planning ideology.

      Mixed income, public housing is a hugely successful model throughout Europe.

      1. Rob_G

        Yes, and apparently in this instance, the councillors elected by the people of Dublin decided to do things a different way – maybe some of the more right-wing members wanted even more private housing, and maybe some of the left-wing cllrs would have wanted more public housing provision, but upon such horse-trading consensus is achieved.

        From Éilís Ryan’s tweet:
        “Compromise is not a good plan in 2019”

        – perhaps if she had been more willing to compromise, she might have been reelected, and got to implement some (if not all) of her policy goals. As opposed to none, as it stands.

        1. BobbyJ

          Don’t go rowing back now, you tried to rubbish Cllr Ryan’s motion by stating that state housing is a terrible idea. The reality is that mixed income, public housing is a hugely successful model throughout Europe. Ireland is an outlier.

          Profiteering cheerleaders like you, who denigrate the very idea of public housing, are partially responsible for our housing mess.

          1. Rob_G

            100% social housing is a terrible idea. One poster below suggested that this would be as high as 80% social housing; this also strikes me as a bad idea.

            “… mixed income, public housing is a hugely successful model throughout Europe”

            Really? Like where?

            Any 100% social housing areas I’ve been in Europe tend to have all the social problems one has become accustomed to expect.

            “Profiteering cheerleaders like you, who denigrate the very idea of public housing, are partially responsible for our housing mess.”

            – stupid comment. That’s like me saying that it’s your fault that Darndale is a kip because you advocate for solely public housing developments.

            And I didn’t denigrate the concept of public housing; merely stated taht in the many, many instances where we have put several hundred units of it in the same place, it doesn’t tend to work out very well.

        2. BobbyJ

          Mixed income, public housing (which Cllr Ryan advocated for) is not social housing as you see it. Mixed income, public housing is housing owned by the state that is available to all & people pay according to their means. A doctor can live next door to a council operative. Vienna is an excellent example of mixed income, public housing. It is not only for people who are unemployed.

          You are deliberately attempting to blur the lines & associate all forms of public housing with unemployment. That’s not how it has to be but that’s how developer led/for profit advocates in Ireland like to spin it.

          If you’ve never seen any excellent examples of mixed income, public housing then you really need to travel more

          1. Rob_G

            Travelled around a lot, sunshine, and in every country I’ve lived in, public housing projects tend to have higher levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.

            Honest question: why should a doctor’s rent be subsidised by taxpayers?

          2. V

            What @BobbyJ is alluding to
            Is Differential Rent

            And is already exercised in Ireland
            Definitely by the Voluntary Housing Bodies anyway
            I’m not certain about the LAs

            It’s where the tenant pays rent according to their means

            So say the Doctor can afford to pay €450 per week – that’s what they’ll have to pay
            And by the same set of metrics
            Usually based on Standardised Reasonable Living Allowance plus allowables like childcare and special circumstances ie prescription costs
            But someone on a Disability Pension might only have to pay €60 a week for the same accommodation

          3. Rob_G


            It’s not that I don’t grasp the concept; I just don’t think it is palatable that a doctor, who might be on €100k, would have their housing costs subsidised by PAYE workers on €40k or €50k.

          4. V

            Don’t treat it as a subsidy from the Taxpayer Rob (G)

            Look at it as a high paying tenant who is subsidising the family with special needs next door

            And the asset stays in public ownership

            One issue (of many) that I have with the now mangled Mortgage to Rent scheme, is that the Voluntary Housing Body, that acquires the property from the bank holding the mortgage, has to borrow 40% of the cost (that both the Bank and the Housing Agency drive up btw -so now ye know why I call it another Bank Bailout)

            And these families, who – since they qualify for Social Housing anyway, already have special needs, even if they’re just financial, are assessed for a rent that won’t even cover the mortgage of 40% – and don’t be surprised to learn, especially with the big national VHBs, that they are borrowing from the bank that selects them from the Housing Agency’s tender.

            And don’t be surprised in the near future that these big National housing associations start to get stretched – and have to sell up or go into administration / receivership, or at least off load some of their stock.
            And who will be the buyer for bundles of properties?
            It won’t be the Local Authorities, or the smaller locally run voluntaries

          5. Rob_G

            Another honest question – if a doctor (or whoever) has the option of paying market rents to be surrounded by other private tenants paying market rents, or paying market rents to be surrounded by social housing tenants, which do you think he/she would choose?

          6. V

            am I supposed to answer that Rob?


            Shur’ what do I know about why anyone might choose anything, or what or where

            Like why should I even care

            As long as they are law abiding; then its none of my business
            or anyone elses

      2. some old queen

        I lived beside O’Devaney for years- people were tortured. I remember once when my car got stolen and the gaurds picked the boyo up in it. I said fair play on their quick response and he told me that they were watching the release dates from the joy- because they knew there would be an increase in local crimes.

        I am not sure what the answer is but 100% public housing in Ireland just does not work- it creates ghettos and leads to generations of young men being banged up. There has to be another solution.

        1. Kolmo

          Housing isn’t the cause of anti-social activity, economic exclusion due to generations of unresolved social issues is the main contributor. There needs to be imaginative and joined-up thinking….there is a serious lack of imagination at the moment and hence the national housing emergency. We are supposed to be a society, not a balance-sheet.

        2. scottser

          i lived on the NCR and taught kids from o’devaney gardens. they were good, smart kids. i also remember getting into one of the best snowball fights ever with them in the big snow of 2010.

    2. Termagant

      But it was never going to be 100% social housing. There were allocations of social housing, affordable rent and affordable purchase with 20% going to the developer instead of 50%.

  2. diddy

    don’t know how I feel about this. on one hand, giving public land to private developers to gorge themselves in high rental yields bad…building o devany gardens 2.0 all social housing bad.

    1. Panty Christ

      Why not? Are you implying people in social houses can’t manage them? The original odeveney was a gigantic rectangle that was subdivided. Zero thought given to actual living. No amenities or services to support it. Social builds and citizens have come a very long way since then.

      1. Rob_G

        “Why not? Are you implying people in social houses can’t manage them? ”
        – can’t, or won’t. There are many parts of Dublin that testify to this.

        A gigantic rectangle? Oh dear Lord…

        “Social builds and citizens have come a very long way since then.”
        There are still large parts of the city that all, or almost all, social housing; they tend not to be the nicest places to live. Better to have a mix of private and social tenants, IMO.

      2. V

        Rob G is right Pantie

        High concentrentation / high density social housing units is unhealthy

        Darndale and Ballymun, Roxboro in Limerick, The Glen/ Mount Brosna in Cork

        It ghettoises poverty and denies opportunity – for generations

        London have it right, well as good as, with healthy mixes of private, co-op and trust owned properties, that are owner occupied, or privately let, long-term leases or social tenancies, and sometimes even within the same blocks of flats

        and these developments are all over London and the surrounds

        The Irish model of housing – low rise complexes, single units over one and two floors – maybe three is part of the problem
        Builders and developers can’t make money going up
        And since over 50% of the cost of any build is in tax, levies and whathaveyous
        There is no interest in changing it, or trying to make it work

  3. Rufty

    Let’s be 100% honest here and take note of the fact that the developer has agreed to sell 30% of the 50% to the council who will then operate affordable rental on the site as well. So that’s 80% of the housing that will be public through social and affordable (with MAX price of €310,000) plus affordable rental in the site and just 20% being sold privately.

    DCC does not have the personnel to build houses any more and hasn’t for long long time. What this deal also got was a commitment for local jobs and trades schemes for local young lads. That’s invaluable at a time that finding good tradespeople is proving hard through a combination of emigration as well as companies not wanting to readin apprentices given the requirement these days to pay them through the time (50%) they’re in classes in college as well as learning on site.

    Anyone who thinks DCC can directly build over 800 public housing units on any site knows a sum total of zero about construction in Ireland and the state of the industry. This deal is a major win given the circumstances and given we’ve a Government and Minister that did everything to scupper it. Those protesting it are a mix of clueless, naively idealistic, or politically rabble rousing for their own agenda.

  4. bisted

    …you think the developer has the personnel to build houses any more than the council. What these clowns have done is introduce an extra layer to redevelop a valuable asset…and give away that asset in the process…it’s not as if this hasn’t happened already…

  5. V

    The only thing that stopped the Council from engaging a contractor to develop the site on their behalf was their own housing strategy which is itself defined by DoE/ National/ The Housing Agency aka Eoghan Murphy’s directives

    and maybe their own capitol funds

    and its the same story
    Up and down
    Over and across the Country

    And in fairness, its a National policy that predates this Government and the one before that, and the one before that too

    1. Donal

      I agree wholeheartedly, it is national policy that councils have limited resources to build housing

      It is a policy that has existed for at least 20 years

      And while the policy shift from councils building to councils not building was based (in part) on the ghettoisation that occurred in public housing in the past, and was thus understandable, it now seems to me that an effort to introduce more modern european style public housing developments is impossible due to the capture of the development system by vested interests.

      This capture needs to be fought and that fight will not take place while either FG or FF hold the levers of power, they too have been bought by the vested interests (in my opinion)

      1. bisted

        …just thinking it probably is nearly 20 years since I worked with the councils…at that time they all had architectural, engineering and planning resource in-house…the last big project I was involved in was Ballymun Regeneration which could be replicated on the appropriate footprint eg O’Deveney Gardens or the Glass Bottle site…

        1. V

          That’s a saddest thing about our Housing and Accommodation Crisis
          Well emergency is more apt

          All the skills and expertise is already employed within the Councils
          Some of the best developments in Dublin City in the last 20 years were in fact DCC projects

        2. Cian

          “architectural, engineering and planning resource in-house”.

          But what about the people that actually build the houses? And manage the site? and do purchasing, planning and logistics? Safety? Traffic management? and myriad other roles?

          1. V

            Wouldn’t that be, I dunno now Cian, I’m only a girl
            But wouldn’t that be the stuff a Building Contractor would get on with

      2. V

        I think it can be done @Donal

        But we need a Housing Taskforce, led by a Housing Tzar of sorts; and about three billion yoyos
        A Tzar that knows about Social and Cooperative housing, as well as the complex needs of a Social Housing Tenant
        In many cases its not just a roof over their heads.
        And also how Social Housing works, from qualifying for housing, to managing tenancies that travel down to the next generation, as well as stewardship of housing stock.
        This Tzar should also be someone not ar5ed about re-elections or be subject to the Minister Will Appoint circle of JFTB

        And a Task Force made of up people that know how to get projects out of the ground, manage budgets, demonstrate good governance and don’t deny accountability, or try to hide from it. (like moving job again.)

        I think it can be done, just even cash in the Apple Tax,
        If they’re found to have been over taxed etc, just give them back the money by way of a tax credit; Ha! I’ve just saved the Exchequer circa 70mill a year there in Bank Charges and Costs of escrow

        Anyway, Just a thing there, I don’t know if anyone here remembers, but the first one I did, it was a For one night only
        A Housing Special
        And I do remember telling the panel/ and viewer then that it was Government Policy to Privatise Social Housing since the 90s

        And in fact it should always be with the Local Authorities
        That poor girl with her kids out in a Tallaght Garda station that night actually proved again, that Housing needs can only be delivered locally and by the Local Housing Units

        Ara’ don’t mind me
        I’m sure there are plenty lads around that know more than me
        So let them at it

        1. Cian

          The Apple Tax is in escrow. It can’t be accessed (either by Ireland or Apple).

          But I’d agree with the rest of your post about getting a Tzar.

      3. Rob_G

        DCC has voted time again to defund itself, so if their resources are limited for house building, they could start there.

        1. V

          Yeah but with a Special Purpose Independent Taskforce
          the Local Housing Units and Teams, within the LA networks,
          Can present local projects for funding etc
          and then they can be project managed and developed locally with this Dream Mockie Ah Taskforce in an Oversight Role

        2. Donal

          DCC “the elected council” have voted for that
          DCC “the administrative body” wishes they hadn’t

          Funding is only part of the problem, there are also very onerous rules relating to procurement etc that ensure that all decisions on capital spending relating to housing have to be passed as ok by the dept, a tedious and time consuming process

          Evidence: DCC are currently building a block of 30 apartments on North King Street, construction started maybe 3 months ago. Planning permission was granted in July 2016. Three year delay on starting to build on a site they owned on which they were building social housing during a housing emergency

          1. Cian

            It is disgraceful that it takes so long and the department is slowing down the councils.

            Out of curiosity, on North King Street, what caused the delays? Was it money? If DCC had been fully funding the build themselves would the same delays have been there?

  6. Rob

    Maybe if Tina and her gang hadn’t voted to give back 15% of the LPT to the people who already have homes (5k+ for every resident of Shrewsbury Road) they could use the extra €12m for things like housing.

    1. V


      as well

      I should say thanks to Tina and Co

      But a huge howler, and a major misstep in Local Government Sustainability
      The only housing market in the Country that can sustain a premium LPT
      and they gave it away, for nothing
      It cost the City and it cost the Independents/ and Left seats

      And they’ll lose even more trying to hike it back up

  7. bisted

    …I see various Soc Dem groups are disowning their councillors who voted for to O’Devenney Gardens deal…where stands the Broadsheet cummann?

  8. V

    Hi there
    I’ve been trying to reply to your @2.53 post yesterday

    For some reason
    Or for some one
    It’s not appearing following its spell on the naughty list

    It was good

    Have a good day folks

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