General News / October 13, 2021

Owen Keegan apologises for comments but will not resign

General News / October 13, 2021

Owen Keegan apologises for comments but will not resign

It comes after hundreds of students protested outside the city council’s civic offices.

Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan has made an apology for his response to a student earlier this week, but has said he won’t resign.

UCD Student Union President Ruairí Power voiced opposition to purpose-built student accommodation being converted into short-term tourist accommodation in a letter to the DCC CEO. He was met with a sarcastic remark from Keegan, which was shared widely on social media.

In the letter he said, “If you genuinely believe that excess profits are being made in he PBSA market am surprised the Students Union has not entered the market itself and provided lower cos student accommodation for its members”.

The response resulted in students heading to the council’s Civic Offices to protest the remarks and call for the council’s CEO to resign.

Here’s the letter if you missed it:

The letters came after the council’s planning department a student accommodation complex in Smithfield to take in tourists during the current academic year.

Following the protest, the Dublin City Council CEO accepted there was an “element of sarcasm” in his response.

“I did not consider that the reliance on sarcasm was necessarily inappropriate in the context of an exchange of robust correspondence.

“However, on reflection, I now accept that the use of sarcasm UCD was inappropriate on this occasion and I am happy to apologise for the offence I caused,” he continued.

Whilst speaking at the protest outside the offices today, UCD Student Union President Ruairí Power stated they were more concerned with the scarcity of affordable housing rather than his response.

Though he’s apologised, Owen Keegan said he would not be resigning.

He said, “I do not propose to resign. If elected members consider that my resignation is warranted, then it is their prerogative to initiate the procedure se out in local government legislation.

On a positive note this episode has highlighted the ongoing crisis n student accommodation, which needs to be addressed.”

Sorry to break it to him, but he’s not the first to highlight the “ongoing crisis”.

Elsewhere on District: Check out our weekend guide to Dublin City.