Dublin city councillors escorted from City Hall by Gardaí after O'Devaney Gardens vote
Dublin City Council's vote in favour of a deal with Bartra Capital on O'Devaney Gardens has sparked outrage and protest.
Several councillors who voted for the deal, which passed last night with a final margin of 38 to 19, were escorted from Dublin's City Hall by Gardaí.
O'Devaney Gardens, built in 1954 as a public housing complex, will be now be redeveloped by Bartra Capital — who will sell 20% of the housing units built on the private market. Only 30% of the new builds will fall under the category of "social housing."
An additional 20% of the units are categorised as "Affordable Purchase," which means they will be sold at a maximum price of €310,000 — almost €50,000 above the national average house price.
Activists argued that the redevelopment of the O'Devaney Gardens site was an opportunity to build as many as 800 units of much-needed social housing during a supply crisis.
Councillor Cieran Perry, who voted against the deal, slammed those who voted for it and called the decision "pathetic".
"Sad to hear the excuses for supporting the giveaway of the O'Devaney public lands. Affordable rental that isn't affordable, affordable purchase that isn't affordable... pathetic. You're lining the pockets of developers at the expense of ordinary people," he said.
Activist group Dublin Central Housing Action also tweeted a brief statement, saying: "Shame on so-called progressives on the council who voted for this giveaway. 'Affordable housing' at 300k is about as drastic as a contradiction in terms gets."
Gary Gannon, a Social Democrat councillor who voted for the deal, admitted its shortcomings, saying: "I fully accept that it is a travesty that during a housing crisis the Fine Gael department of housing has dictated we must enable a developer to enrich themselves on public lands in order that we can deliver much needed housing."
Fine Gael Councillor James Geoghegan, however, condemned protestors: "Disgraceful scenes designed to undermine legitimate democracy. Over 800 new homes (Social, Affordable and Private) to be built thanks to our vote tonight on O’Devaney Gardens."