Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan

This afternoon.

Further to Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan’s suggestion to UCD Students’ Union President Ruarí Power that his union become property developers to ease and profit from the housing crisis…

….a protest took place outside Mr Keegan’s office.

Via University Times:

UCDSU President Ruarí Power told the crowd:

“To prioritise the profit margins of private purpose-built student accommodation providers over the public good is a shameful act which will push young people into precarious living circumstances over the coming months”

Power told the crowd today: “We’re not here primarily about a few sarcastic remarks … the big problem here is the underlying attitude that students are an economic good. They’re there to be absolutely fleeced, left, right and centre.”

Purpose-Built Student Housing ‘Was Never About Students’, Protest Hears (University Times)


The council’s housing committee agreed to hold special meeting to discuss his remarks. The Sinn Féin group of councillors has called on him to resign while almost all councillors called on him to withdraw his remarks.

Mr Keegan’s statement has also been criticised by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and other ministers.

Students protest over lack of affordable accommodation (RTÉ)

Yesterday: Keegan’s Bluff


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14 thoughts on “Developing

  1. Free Lunch

    He takes the mickey and he needs to be cancelled already.

    Stupid comment by Keegan. He should say sorry, didn’t mean offence, but that’s it.

    Snowflake students.

  2. Wilhelm

    Question: why aren’t the likes of UCD building dorms for its students? There’s plenty of space in Belfield. Why is it relying on private landlords to house its students in slum-y houseshares in Donnybrook/D6?

    1. Cian

      #1 they have been building as many as they can
      #2 they can’t get more planning permission

      This is the first stage of an ambitious programme of development that will provide over 2,000 new beds by the year 2024. This ensures that future generations of UCD students will be able to source high-quality accommodation on campus, without being forced into off-campus accommodation in locations that involve a daily, time-consuming commute.

      Work is already well advanced on the first stage in this construction programme, which will deliver 924 new dwellings from September 2021. This stage will also result in construction of an exciting new Student Amenity Building that will be an important new addition to our student facilities on campus.


      1. Wilhelm

        A drop in the ocean considering it has approx 30k students. All colleges have been getting away with this for decades.

      2. johnny

        Cian-the students all bailed back home to their yummy mummys,leaving dead and empty student housing blocks,breaking leases,owners / landlords then got temp planning convert these now EMPTY student accommodations,to short term rentals to support the shops and community.

        why did the union not object them-oh right they at home watching bake off.

        now these suburban students are back demanding housing in dublin city center-where were they?

        short term squeeze,student landlords got it handed to them,most in distress.

      3. Daniel

        I think their is more nuance to this than meets the eye. some of my response is a response to Johnny’s comment.

        firstly the rents being charged are not sustainable for the students. €1200 to €1500 pm for a bedroom with ensuite and all other spaces shared with up to 8 others.

        secondly the colleges already had/ have arrangement to rent out the student accommodation to foreign students and tourists during the summer months when domestic demand drops off.

        If appropriate rents were being requested then maybe more college students would stay in the accommodation in the summer months.

        My interpretation of the what some of the providers are trying to do is to take existing student accommodation or build student accommodation and then get permission to use it as co-living apartments (they don’t use the words co-living to avoid controversy), the designs for both types of accommodation are nearly identical. the reason for doing this is even higher rents and more consistent occupancy over the year without having to seasonally transition from irish college students to foreign summer students and tourists.

  3. des

    Mehole thinks he should “withdraw” his comments.
    And that is what is wrong with this corrupt government.

  4. Baz

    I rarely agree with Keegan’s decrees but on this one (Students Union) he was 100% correct in calling them out

  5. Free Lunch

    Couldn’t universities ask the Chinese government to build accommodation for students? They’ve already built most of UCD.

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