The Gaffer


Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage

This afternoon.

Further to dismay over the purchase of entire housing estates by real estate investment trusts or REITs.

Via The Ditch:

…While a TD for Dublin North in 2008, Darragh O’Brien declared in the Dáil register of interests holdings in a Standard Life Assurance savings policy. The policy later promised returns to holders through investments in REITs, which were introduced to Ireland in 2013 through legislation brought by finance minister Michael Noonan…

…O’Brien further declared he was a landlord from 2007-2015. He found himself in possession of not one, but two houses, so chose to rent one out, starting in the heady, pre-crash era.

O’Brien along with his wife bought a family home in 2007, but decided against selling his former residence – a two-bed apartment in Malahide.

O’Brien rented the property first to a family member from 2007 and later to other private tenants, before finally selling the property at 11 Castle Heath, Swords Road, Malahide. He sold it for €290,000 in March 2015.


…O’Brien’s government and party colleague Robert Troy is another landlord with a serious property portfolio. And he knows how to protect his interests.

In 2019 he took an unsuccessful Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) case against a tenant renting from him a €1,250 per month one-bed flat in Phibsborough, Dublin 7. Troy had let the flat to small business owner Paul McGahan. The flat is “a tiny little thing” according to McGahan: “You wouldn’t fit two people into this place,” he said…

Fianna Fáil ministers, the REITs and the housing crisis (The Ditch)


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9 thoughts on “The Gaffer

    1. scottser

      he’s much better as rory hearne. he should drop the smug fake doctor thing, it just makes him sound like a nob.

    2. SB

      He’s including too many things in the list, I don’t necessarily agree with all 6, he shouldn’t lump them all in together

  1. ce

    My favorite line in the Ditch Article …

    “Troy and McGivney – who has interests in nursing homes and greyhounds”…

  2. John

    Jaysus, They are really clutching at straws with OBrien.
    I’m not really surprised he didn’t sell his apartment in 2007 as the property market started to go into freefall. He’s not the only one who bought family homes and were stuck with apartments in the late 2000s. He’s lucky he was in a position to buy a family home while having an apartment. There are many families who were stuck in their shoebox apartments they couldn’t sell.
    As for investing in Reits, do we even know if the investment option he had with standard life included a reit portion. I would guess that it probably did as the standard products would have a bit of everything in them.

    If you’re going to go after someone at least make it good. Hes a Fianna Failer there must be loads of actual dirt out there.

    1. Jam

      Can’t see anything at all in this either. There is nothing inherently wrong with being a landlord. Or investing in an investment vehicle that includes some of these types of assets as many do.

  3. Peter Dempsey

    And there’s nothing wrong with owning a house and living in it yourself. Although some on The Left disagree with their “all property is theft mantra”

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