Tag Archives: O’Devaney Gardens

O’Devaney Gardens site in Dublin 7

This afternoon

In the Dublin Inquirer

Laoise Neylon reports:

A council report said the value of the land at O’Devaney Gardens in 2017 was €15 million to €20 million.

A council spokesperson said last Monday that that figure remains the same today. “The indicative land value range (€15M to €20M) as outlined in the O’Devaney Gardens Feasibility Study has not changed,” they said.

Other vacant sites in the wider area have significantly higher values.

In Fairview, a similar distance from the city centre, a site with scope for 32 apartments was for sale in May for €3 million.That valuation suggests a site value of €94,000 per apartment.

Back in 2018, a site in Cabra was valued at €32 million, which suggests a site value per apartment of €76,000. That was over a year ago and land values have gone up since.

What if the site value on the O’Devaney Gardens land was midway between these, say €85,000 per apartment?

Barta is building 411 homes for private sale, so an approximate commercial value for half of the land being transferred to Bartra would in that case be in the region of €35 million.

…Architect and housing expert Mel Reynolds said he was chatting to a developer recently and he put a challenge to him.

“I said to him – ‘Do you think if we sat down together, we would we be able to figure out a way to make a 12 acre site, worth €65m, disappear?” said Reynolds.

“Dublin City Council have managed to do just that,” he says. “The unbelievable thing is that they start off with an asset but then they just give it away for free.”

A Closer Look at the Costs of the O’Devaney Gardens Deal (Laoise Neylon, Dublin Inquirer)

Previously: “There Is Something Seriously Wrong Here”

From top: O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin 7; Joan Collins TD


In the Dáil.

During Leaders’ Questions, Dublin South Central Independent TD Joan Collins raised the controversial deal between Dublin City Council and Bartra for the development of housing at O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin 7.

Ms Collins said:

“Does the Taoiseach agree that the situation with the redevelopment of O’Devaney Gardens, a former council housing estate, is a fiasco?

It was a fiasco from the start and it a fiasco now.

It is an incredible situation given the scale of the housing and homeless emergency we face.

This site, with 14 acres of prime land owned by the State and suitable for up to 800 housing units, has been left derelict for more than ten years.

The original public private partnership, PPP, project collapsed when the developer realised that the €100 million in anticipated profit would not be guaranteed given the collapse in house prices after the 2008 crash.

The PPP model failed because it was based on the premise of massive profits for private developers.

It is this failed model, however, that the Taoiseach’s Government and the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, are insisting on imposing not just on the city council but on the community from O’Devaney Gardens still waiting for the redevelopment of the area they want to live in as council tenants.

Make no mistake, the problem here is the Minister’s right-wing, neo-liberal bias against public housing.

The Minister wrote to Dublin City Council in October threatening to withdraw State funding for the project unless councillors voted for a deal with a developer, Bartra, that would give 100% of public land in return for 30% of public housing.

Rather than stand their ground, councillors from Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party, the Green Party and Social Democrats have effectively caved into the Minister’s blackmail and tried to repackage the deal with Bartra as something it is not.”

Ms Collins added:

“Let us be clear what this means.

This is the same deal that for the developer means 14 acres of prime land, close to the city centre and a Luas line, for free.

The State will pay for infrastructure, a saving of €10 million for Bartra, while the absence of development levies will mean another €5 million saved.

If the State came up with the €120 million for the 30% of the developer’s 70%, which is highly unlikely now having listened to the Minister’s comments, the total cost to the State would then be in the region of €250 million.

The sum of €250 million is what council officials estimate it would cost to build 100% public housing on the site, with cheap loans from the European Investment Bank, EIB.

There is something seriously wrong here.

Is it plain stupidity? I do not think so.

Is it corruption? That was certainly a feature of the past, but not today.

To me, that leaves ideological bias and political cowardice.

Meanwhile, 10,000 people, 4,000 of whom are children, are living in homeless accommodation and thousands upon thousands of people are waiting for housing in this country.”

Yesterday: Misled

Transcript via Kildarestreet.com

From top: O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin 7; Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin

This morning.

Via Sinn Féin Housing Spokesman Eoin Ó Broin:

“Dublin City Council is led by a coalition of councillors from Fianna Fáil, the Green Party, the Social Democrats and the Labour Party, known as the Dublin Agreement Group.

On Monday, November 4th, the Dublin Agreement Group announced that they had secured a new deal with Dublin City Council management and Bartra for the O’Devaney Gardens development.

On foot of their announcement, the deal was approved by a majority of city councillors at the monthly council meet that night.

“The Dublin Agreement Group claimed to have secured an additional 30% of the development for affordable rental housing. This would be delivered through a purchase agreement between Bartra and an Approved Housing Body.

However correspondence between the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and Dublin City Council Mayor and Fianna Fáil councillor Paul McAuliffe, secured under Freedom of Information, shows clearly that no affordable rental accommodation has been secured for this development.”

The minister’s letter issued to Mayor McAuliffe on November 6th states that no new deal has been secured for the O’Devaney site;

That no funding for affordable rental units has been requested from or approved by his department; that additional affordable units would not be in line with the tenure mix agreed by the department in 2017;

That the rents charged on any such units would not be affordable as the units would be purchased at market rather than cost price;

That no legal advice has been sought by Dublin City Council to determine whether the inclusion of affordable rental units would breach the procurement process and open the council up to legal challenge from unsuccessful bidders; and crucially that councillors from other parties voted for the deal ‘under the impression’.

That a new deal or agreement had been reached when it had not.

There are only two conclusions that could be drawn from the minister’s letter.

Either the Dublin Alliance Councillors are incompetent or they deliberately misleading their fellow councillors and the public.

They secured a majority of support from their fellow councillors for the transfer of a multi-million euro strategic housing development site to a private developer on the basis of a claim that is completely false.”


Dublin City Councillors and public misled on O’Devaney Gardens Deal – Eoin Ó Broin TD (Sinn Fein)

Murphy says agreement on O’Devaney Gardens cannot proceed (RTÉ)

Previously: O Devaney Gardens On Broadsheet



O’Devaney Gardens site in Dublin 7; letter from Bartra Capital Property Group CEO Michael Flannery to Dublin City Council dated October 31, 2019

Further to a post yesterday about Dublin City Council’s controversial vote on a fresh €7million deal with Bartra Capital for the regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin…

Journalist Lois Kapila, in Dublin Inquirer, has written a detailed account of that meeting on Monday night.

In her report, she refers to a letter sent from Bartra Capital Property Group CEO Michael Flannery to Dublin City Council dated October 31, 2019 (pictured above).

Ms Kapila reports:

The big change from last month, when councillors delayed voting and said they’d seek a better deal, and this month, when they voted to back the deal, was the offer of “affordable” rental housing on the site.

The deal on the table last month included 248 social homes, 165 “affordable” homes for sale, and 411 market-rate private homes.

After that, though, Bartra Capital Property CEO Michael Flannery said the company would be willing to enter into an “option arrangement” with the council, or its nominee, which would give the council the right to buy some or all of the 411 private “at the average prices per unit type” set out in Bartra’s final tender.

This could help, for example, the council or an AHB [approved housing body] get another 30 percent of the total units to use as an affordable or cost-rental scheme, the letter says.

To give Bartra certainty, the council and the Department of Housing would need to tell Bartra whether, and to what extent, it wants to exercise that option “within a reasonable timeframe” of signing the development agreement, Flannery’s letter says.

…. Independent Councillor Anthony Flynn said the agreement around the affordable rental was still smoke, mirrors, and promises – with nothing legal yet. “There’s no commitments,” he said. (Bartra’s letter isn’t legally binding.)

…Whether the Department of Housing will agree to help fund the affordable rental or cost-rental homes is unclear. Its press office hasn’t yet responded to queries about that, sent on Tuesday morning.


Olivia Kelly, in The Irish Times, also refers to the letter.

In an analysis piece, Ms Kelly reports:

Bartra said it is willing to sell “some or all of the private units” to the council or its nominee.

Well of course. Why wouldn’t it be willing to get these guaranteed sales, particularly when, as it said in a letter to Mr Kenny, it would be at a “price to be determined by the preferred tenderer”.

Bartra said the price would be in line with what it is in its tender documents.

But it is not clear if this relates to the price of affordable homes, which was in the region of €420,000 before State subsidies are applied, or the private costs, which would see prices top €500,000.

Councillors Vote Through Deal to Redevelop O’Devaney Gardens After Fraught Debate (Lois Kapila, Dublin Inquirer)

O’Devaney Gardens gets the go-ahead, but questions remain (Olivia Kelly, The Irish Times)

Yesterday: Passed Under Garda Protection

From top: Soc Dem Dublin City Councillor Gary Gannon (left) leaving last Monday’s council meeting under Garda protection; resolution from Soc Dem students.

Last night.


Via DCU Soc Dems

Ronan Emmet writes:

‘I won’t be supporting any Soc Dem candidates after this disappointing vote. So much promise as a party, but it’s all optics it seems. The electorate are coming for you and you underestimate the damage this has done your party. You won’t have any new TDs elected in Dublin…’


Yesterday: 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


Dublin City Council.

A vote will be cast that could see Bartra Capital as the preferred developer for the O’Devaney Gardens site [near the Phoenix Park] and half of the 824 units being private, with a price range for a three-bed apartment of €360,000-€420,000 and a price range for a two-bed house of €270,000-€315,000.

A council report says the development will not feature any student accommodation, shared accommodation or studio apartments.

Via The Social Democrats:

The SocDems’ five Dublin City Councillors are opposed to Council management’s current plans to privatise the redevelopment of O’Devaney Gardens on the grounds that they will not deliver homes at affordable prices and will do nothing to address the rental crisis in the city.

Cllr Gary Gannon said:

“The proposed sell-off of the O’Devaney Gardens site to Bartra Capital is an incredibly bad deal for the city and for people who are struggling to buy family homes at affordable prices. We reiterate that we will not be complicit in an unaffordable development that further excludes people and families already excluded from the prospect of secure tenure or home ownership in our city.”

More as we get it.

O’Devaney Gardens deal hangs in the balance (Irish Times)

Previously: Not For The Likes Of You


A decision on the regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens by Bartra Capital has been delayed by Dublin city councillors following warnings from Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy that he would strip the project of funding if councillors blocked the deal.

….The previous council had approved the agreement by 53 votes to eight, with Sinn Féin, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour and the Green Party all supporting the deal. Labour, the Green Party and Sinn Féin had planned to reverse their support on Monday night, with other parties raising concerns about the terms of the deal. Fine Gael remained in support of the agreement.

Councillors delay O’Devaney Gardens plan (Irish Times)

On Tuesday, Dublin City Council central area committee announced Bartra Capital [who are behind the Dun Laoghaire co-living experiment] as the preferred developer for the O’Devaney Gardens site [near the Phoenix Park].

The plan will see half of the 824 units being private – 30 per cent (192) as social housing and 20 per cent (165) as affordable housing. Some 56 of the houses are already under construction as part of a separate deal with Careys Construction.

A discount of 30-40 per cent will apply on the affordable units, with a price range for a three-bed apartment of €360,000-€420,000 and a price range for a two-bed house of €270,000-€315,000.

The council’s report says the development will not feature any student accommodation, shared accommodation or studio apartments.

On public land.

Good times.

Anger over ‘affordable’ redevelopment where buyers will need to earn at least €108K per year and have €42K savings (Independent.ie)

Co-living developer the preferred bidder for O’Devaney Gardens plan (Irish Times)

Previously: O’Devaney Gardens on Broadsheet.

Daniel St Ledger writes:

“Here are some shots of O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin 7.

Your readers might like to see, after 50 years, the last block of flats are being knocked down, to make way for new development, some say a land grab?

End of an era really.”

Daniel St Ledger

Related: O’Devaney Gardens site construction to start after 10 year delay (Olivia Kelly, The Irish Times, July 3, 2018)

This morning.

Phoenix Park, Dublin 7

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Nial Ring and residents celebrate the ‘turning of the sod’ on the first phase of the Regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens Dublin.

A mere 10 years after removing all 285 householdss when the regeneration project was initially mooted and then scrapped.

Of the 600 new homes promised, 30 per cent will be social homes, and 20 per cent will be “ affordable” housing , it is claimed and hotly disputed,

Good times.

Previously: O’Devaney Gardens on broadsheet

Sam Boal/RollingNews