Tag Archives: Darragh O’Brien

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.

Meanwhile…

…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)

RollingNews

From top: Most houses on the new Mullen estate, Maynooth, county Kildare were purchased by Round Hill Capital; Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien

This morning.

Via RTÉ:

Proposals that could lead to changes in the tax treatment of institutional investors in property in Ireland could be considered by Government ministers as early as next week, RTÉ News understands.

….The indications from the Government this morning are that an outright ban on investors buying homes in housing estates would raise constitutional difficulties.

There is a view that the biggest part of addressing the issue will centre on changes to current tax incentives.

Govt further examining investment fund housing issue (RTÉ)

Meanwhile…

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar defended the role of investment funds in the wake of revelations of them buying up large numbers of houses in some new estates.

He said a lot of the apartment buildings in Dublin would not have been built without investment funds which would mean fewer homes in the capital. Mr Varadkar said these funds run apartment complexes well and they are often better managed than if apartments are leased by 30 or 40 different landlords.

However, the Tánaiste said it was never envisaged they would buy whole housing states “over the heads” of first-time buyers or an approved housing body.

‘They are gunning for him’: Housing Minister criticised at Fine Gael meeting as Leo Varadkar defends investment funds (Independent.ie)

Meanwhile…

Last night: No Bay? No Meadows? We’ll Take It

RollingNews

Meanwhile…

“We cant let ideology get in the way of pragmatic policies or let the perfect be the enemy of the common good.”

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien (above) on the public-private Cost Rental Scheme.

How imperfect?

James writes:

The Housing Finance Agency (HFA) will borrow, say, €200,000, in the taxpayer’s name, and give it as a loan to an Approved Housing Body (AHB) on a low fixed interest for a 30-year-term.

The council will deliver a cheap, serviced site. The AHB will build a home and then rent it to a taxpaying family at €1,200 euro per month, indexed linked, which means the taxpayer could pay €450,000 over 30 years.

A €200,000 mortgage could cost that taxpayer €300,000 over the 30 years with interest increases [AIB 5 year fixed]. The Government has yet to decide how or even if the AHB will repay that loan…

Anyone?

We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good in solving our housing crisis (Darragh O’Brien, Independent.ie)

RollingNews

This morning.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien goes for a stroll on Ballbriggan Beach before he announced the  Dublin projects to be funded under ‘Call 2’ of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).

To wit:

Meanwhile…

FIGHT!

Leon Farrell / RollingNews

The Government is working to reopen the construction sector on 5 March, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien (top) has said.

This morning/afternoon.

It’ll be grand.

Govt working to reopen construction on 5 March – O’Brien (RTÉ)

RollingNews

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien

Dáil debate on Thursday, January 28

This afternoon.

Social Democrat housing spokesman Cian O’Callaghan TD writes

“In the Dáil last Thursday, the Minister for Housing stated that the National Quality Standards Framework [standards that have been in place in all charity-run hostels since 2019] applies to all providers of emergency accommodation for homeless people – including private providers.

“However, on Friday, Brendan Kenny of Dublin City Council confirmed at the Oireachtas Housing Committee that these standards are not in fact being applied to private for-profit providers of emergency accommodation.

“The Minister must come before the Dáil and correct the record, and the Government must act swiftly to ensure that the National Standards applies to all providers of homeless accommodation, including private providers….

Meanwhile…Council Says It Plans to Hire Company to Inspect Homeless Hostels (Dublin Inquirer)

RollingNews

 

Social Democrats TDs Catherine Murphy, Róisín Shortall, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, Fianna Fáil TD Darragh O’Brien; Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin with his FF colleagues during last night’s vote in the Dáil

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Fianna Fáil TD Darragh O’Brien defended his party colleagues abstaining from last night’s no confidence motion against the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy.

The party’s leader Mícheál Martin didn’t attend the debate but did appear when the vote was taking place.

The motion was defeated by 56 votes to 53 while 35 TDs abstained.

Independent TDs Michael Lowry, Noel Grealish and Denis Naughten all voted against the motion.

He repeated what he told the Dáil last night – that the motion “one way or another is not going to house one person or take one person off the homeless list”.

He then had the following exchange with broadcaster Rachel English.

Rachel English: “…by voting the way you did last night, by abstaining, weren’t you effectively supporting and facilitating a policy that you believe has failed?”

Darragh O’Brien: “No, we weren’t. We were very clear. Early last week my party leader said it, and I said it too, that we were abstaining in the national interest, to ensure that there wasn’t going to be Christmas general election.

“And I think people have been very clear about that. So, you know, it’s not a question of us supporting Government housing policy, we don’t. We have put forward alternatives on a regular basis.

“We’ve negotiated budgets, where we’ve negotiated a fund for affordable purchase for first-time buyers.

“We want to put home ownership back at the centre of the solutions to this housing crisis and get the thousands of people who are on the housing waiting list – get them housed and get their families housed.”

English: “And in the meantime then, is it your policy that Rebuilding Ireland should be scrapped?”

O’Brien: “Rebuilding Ireland isn’t working. And Fianna Fáil has a different plan. And we’ve published that. We’ve published our affordable purchase plan. We’ve published legislation.

“So the idea Government say that Opposition don’t publish and hasn’t brought forward alternatives…”

English: “So you believe Rebuilding Ireland should be scrapped? It’s failed?”

O’Brien: “If the public were good enough to elect us at the general election early next year, we will have a different housing plan that would not be Rebuilding Ireland.”

English: “Just to pick up on something you said there, you said ‘an election early next year’, does that mean that May is too late?”

O’Brien: “No I don’t think. Micheal Martin was clear yesterday when we had our press conference and he said ‘look, probably the natural end to this will be after the Easter recess’ so you’re looking at an April/May election. And that would be I think a disorderly wind-down of Government would potentially be in everyone’s interest, in everybody’s interest, to allow the public, you know, have their say, and I want…”

English: “A disorderly wind-down or an orderly wind-down?”

O’Brien: “Orderly, sorry, orderly would be the preference. But look events and that in the future, who knows. But what we want is the public to have their say on Fine Gael’s failed housing policy.

Talk over each other

English: “You’re talking about an April/May election and not before that?”

O’Brien: “Sorry, Rachel?”

English: “You’re talking about an April/May election ideally, as far as your concerned?”

O’Brien: “That is, as Micheal Martin, has outlined and we’ve been very clear and honest with people over the last couple of years in relation to where we’ve been and we’ve seen this through and it’s been difficult sometimes.

“There may have been shorter term party political gain to be gleaned by running to the country earlier but we haven’t done that.

“We’ve put the national interest first and that’s what we’ll continue to do and we look forward to fighting a general election early next year when we put forward our alternatives and let the public have their say on Eoghan Murphy and Simon Harris and failed health and housing policies.”

English: “All right, thank you very much…”

O’Brien:

Listen back in full here

Meanwhile…

Last night.

Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward, who secured the Dublin Mid-West seat in last week’s by-election, told the Dáil that the normalisation of the housing crisis is “not normal”.

He said it’s “not normal” to have almost 4,000 children spending Christmas in temporary accommodation.

He said it’s “not normal” for adult children to live with their kids in a back room belong to their parents and to have three generations living under one roof.

In a message directed at the two Fianna Fáil TDs – Pádraig O’Sullivan and Malcolm Byrne – who were also elected last week, he said: “You did not get elected to sit on your hands.”

He urged support for the motion, saying “that’s normal”.

Meanwhile…

Last night: 10,514 But Confidence Remains

5/12/2012 Budget DaySenator Darragh O’Brien (left) and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

 

Where’s Winelake when you need him/her?

(Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)

Meanwhile…

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Senator O’Brien and Cameron from Modern Family.

Uncanny.