Musician David Kitt addresses backlash after comments on "sickening" rental costs in Dublin 11 months ago

Musician David Kitt addresses backlash after comments on "sickening" rental costs in Dublin

Popular Dublin artist David Kitt sparked a conversation on Monday when he highlighted the financial struggles faced by creative people in the capital.

The Choice Prize-nominated artist revealed via social media that he intends to emigrate in the near future.

"I'm being forced to leave the country I love as I can't afford to live in my hometown any more," Kitt wrote.

"I don't want to go. It feels like one of the best periods of creativity I've lived through in this city," he added.

Kitt's post would go on to argue that Fine Gael "are failing this city" and that "Dublin's heart and soul is being ripped out and sold to the highest bidder", referring to an influx of commercial developments at a time when creative spaces such as the Tivoli Theatre and Hangar fade away.

"The house I live in just got sold as part of a portfolio to a group of European investors," Kitt revealed, before offering a grim overview of the situation.

"Have we not learned anything from the last boom and bust cycle?" he asked.

"It's worse than the Celtic Tiger and the price is too high in terms of people and culture. It's sickening but nobody seems to be able to do anything about it. It will end in tears."

Kitt's post was inspired by an article in The Irish Times by Una Mullally, which argued that the capital's nightlife is "disintegrating".

His words prompted commentary from music blogger Nialler9, who labelled Dublin "untenable" for many of its hard-working citizens.

Following some debate and requests from media outlets for further comment, Kitt posted a fresh statement on Tuesday on his official Facebook page.

"All I wanted to do was share my experience to echo Una Mullally's sentiments in her great article and give others the platform to share their experiences on here," Kitt began.

"Her words rang true for me and i wanted to provide my experience as a case-in-point example of what she was getting at. It got a lot of traction and I'm glad I said what I said. Thanks to everyone who shared their own thoughts and experiences and for all the kind words of support.

"In whatever small way it helps highlight the issue hopefully. I have nothing further to add on the matter for now but I'd like to clarify a few things before I turn off the internet for a few days. I'm getting kicked out of my house after all."

Kitt, whose father Tom served as Fianna Fáil Chief Whip between 2004 and 2008, stressed that in challenging the current government administration he was "by no means defending or extolling the virtues" of previous ones.

"Certain elements of the media seem to be leaping on this part of what i said rather than discussing the important details. Bloody typical," said Kitt.

"I don't have any affiliations to any political party and it's sad to see that getting dragged into this because of family connections," Kitt stated, adding that he is "massively proud" of his father's legacy.

"He's genuinely one of the good guys. All I'll say is that anyone having a go at him doesn't know the half of it. I've been dealing with a certain tribal spite all my life just because of my family name and it doesn't have any relevance to this debate whatsoever. It's just tit for tat politicising and highjacking of an important issue."

Kitt described himself as "a concerned resident" amidst the "current crisis" and quoted President Michael D. Higgins when criticising the privatisation of public spaces and redirection of those in society who are trying to contribute.

"There are ways to legislate against the wild hikes in rental prices and ways to protect us against the speculative bubbles created by the greed of bankers and speculators, but they are being ignored," argued Kitt.

He then focused on those who had an issue with him exclusively highlighting Dublin as opposed to other areas in the country.

"To those talking about Dublin not being the centre of the Irish universe, I get it, but that's not really the point," said Kitt.

"There's a whole lot more to this country that I'll miss beyond Dublin but Una's article was about Dublin and hence me chiming in as a born and bred Dubliner who is deeply saddened and angered by the way the city is headed and the costs involved.

"Maybe there are those in our midst who are happy to see it turn into Googletown and to see the back of lowly artists like myself, but judging by the response here i'm not alone and that gives me some hope for the future of the city."

Kitt signed off by noting that he intends to delete his social media posts in 24 hours time before returning to focus purely on music.