Owen Keegan accepts "element of sarcasm" as he apologises for UCD letter
"I now accept that the use of sarcasm was inappropriate on this occasion."
In a letter to Dublin City Councillors, Chief Executive Owen Keegan has apologised for an "element of sarcasm" in a letter to the UCD Students' Union.
Keegan added that he won't be resigning from the role, although if members of the council considered his resignation was warranted, they would be permitted to initiate the process for removing him.
In his letter to councillors on Wednesday, seen by the Irish Independent, Keegan wrote: "I accept there was also an element of sarcasm. I did not consider that the reliance on sarcasm was necessarily appropriate in the context of an exchange of robust correspondence.
"However on reflection, I now accept that the use of sarcasm was inappropriate on this occasion and I am happy to apologise for the offence I caused."
He added: "On a positive note this episode has highlighted the on-going crisis in student accommodation in Dublin, which needs to be addressed."
President of the UCD Student Union (SU) Ruairí Power shared an image of a correspondence between the SU on Twitter on Monday, sparking widespread backlash from both politicians and students.
Power penned: "DCC CEO Owen Keegan's innovative solution to the housing crisis is...Students' Unions becoming property developers."
He added that the reply from Keegan was in response to the SU opposition to purpose-built student accommodation being converted into short-term tourist accommodation.
A number of student accommodations were turned into accommodations for tourists during the pandemic and have yet to return to their original status, contributing to an increase in the shortage of affordable places for students to live.
DCC CEO Owen Keegan’s innovative solution to the housing crisis is…. Students’ Unions becoming property developers.
This is in response to @ucdsu opposition to purpose-built student accommodation being converted into short-term tourist accommodation.🙃🙃🙃 pic.twitter.com/gDRJa2eVPv
— Ruairí Power (@RuairiPower_) October 11, 2021
In the response to the UCD SU, Keegan said: "Finally, if you genuinely believe that excess profits are being made in the PBSA market, I am surprised the Students Union has not entered the market itself and provided lower-cost student accommodation for its members."
Government officials have been taking to Twitter all week to hit out at the DCC representative for his reponse.
The UCD Students' Union also staged a protest on Wednesday in response to Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan's recent comments.
Main Image: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland.