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Councillors reject motion to have support for O'Devaney Gardens redevelopment project rescinded

The O’Devaney project will see a number of new homes developed, including social and affordable housing.

Image: RollingNews.ie

COUNCILLORS ON DUBLIN City Council have rejected a motion calling for the support of the O’Devaney redevelopment project to be rescinded. 

The motion was tabled by Independent councillor John Lyons this evening with the support of a dozen Sinn Féin and Independent councillors. 

However, it was defeated by a majority of councillors – 61.5% to 38.5% – at a vote during tonight’s council meeting. 

At a meeting in November the elected representatives of Dublin City Council voted to support a deal made with property developer Bartra which would see the site developed as a mixed-accommodation complex. 

It followed years of failed attempts by a number of parties, including the local council, to redevelop the flat complex which was originally designed for social housing. 

The current deal foresees that the site will be divided between 30% social housing, 30% affordable-rental, 20% affordable-purchase and 20% private dwellings.

That deal was agreed between members of the Dublin Agreement Group – made up of Fianna Fáil, Labour, Social Democrats and Green Party councillors – and the developer. 

Speaking tonight, Sinn Féin’s Janice Boylan, who supported the motion suggested the deal should be scrapped and that all of the units built in the project should be public housing. 

“And I will gladly take the snide remarks and jeers from anyone in this chamber because I know I stood up for the people of O’devaney when none of you did,” she said. 

Fine Gael cllr Ray McAdam said he did not support the motion to rescind support for the deal claiming the residents of O’Devaney Gardens will face another years-long wait before any new homes are built.

“I am going to honour that commitment and I and my Fine Gael colleagues are the only party that stood up and said quite clearly to the electorate that we will ensure the homes in O’Devaney gardens will be built,” he said. 

“I am not going to do anything nor is my party colleagues anything that puts at risk the building of homes in O’Devaney.”

Last month, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy wrote to Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe claiming that any “deal” made was done so without any consultation with his department and that units earmarked for “affordable-rental” will require significant capital and in order to repay the finance, he said. 

In recent weeks, some representatives have questioned how workable the deal is in reality and whether the “agreement” or “deal” struck with Bartra was above-board.

Fianna Fáil’s Mary Fitzpatrick also rejected the motion and said without the deal agreed with Bartra, there will be no development on the site. 

“If you vote for this motion you’re voting for dereliction,” she told the council chamber.

“There is no plan B, the chief executive has told us all there is no funding for an alternative plan, it is a pipe dream you’re selling,” she said. 

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