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Revealed Three Dublin Bay South by-election candidates own or previously owned rental properties

Fianna Fáil candidate Deirdre Conroy kept a blog in 2013 and 2014 named “Diary of a Dublin Landlady” when she rented out rooms in her house.

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Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan owns a cottage in Killarney. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan owns a cottage in Killarney. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan owns a cottage in Killarney. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Three parties are running candidates in the Dublin Bay South by-election who are or were landlords.

The parties are Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Social Democrats.

Social Democrats candidate Sarah Durcan is renting out a €170,000 house in Castlebar, Co Mayo, that she bought in the early 2000s.

She also owns an apartment in Castle Street, in the Dublin Bay South constituency, worth €260,000, and expects to pay €90 Local Property Tax next year on each home.

“I am originally from Mayo and also own a house in my home town of Castlebar, which I bought with the intention of living in it,” she said.

“Given my work commitments, that was not possible, so it is rented out and has been in negative equity for most of the time I have owned it.

She said she had not increased the rent “since my new tenants moved in three years ago”.

Ms Durcan is an activist arts worker and has been involved in culture, community development, non-profit start-ups and Science Gallery Inter-
national for over two decades.

Sinn Féin candidate and senator Lynn Boylan, a former MEP, owns a €120,000 cottage in Killarney, Co Kerry, which she rented out for “a short time”.

An Oireachtas declaration of interest shows that from January to September last year, she had income of €4,042 from this property.

The declaration also shows she owns the land the cottage is on. Ms Boylan bought the property when she worked in the Killarney National Park Education Centre.

“When I lost my job during the recession, I moved back to Dublin and lived with my parents for a time. The property was in negative equity for many years, but I am currently preparing to sell it,” she said.

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“It was rented to a friend for a short time, but has not been since September 2020.”

Ms Boylan lives in a two-bedroom house in Clondalkin with her partner, Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin.

The Irish Independent previously reported how Fianna Fáil candidate Deirdre Conroy kept a blog in 2013 and 2014 named “Diary of a Dublin Landlady” when she rented out rooms in her house.

In response to queries, she said she had “never” been a landlord. “I had an amusing blog about renting a room, living in my home with my two children, to manage not losing a home in the recession,” the councillor said.

“As an art and architectural historian, I called my blog an amusing old-fashioned name to bring up laughter during the sad financial crisis for so many women.”

Ms Conroy lives 1km outside of the Dublin Bay South constituency.

Other candidates are Fine Gael’s James Geoghegan, Labour’s Ivana Bacik, Independent councillor Mannix Flynn, People Before Profit’s Brigid Purcell and housing activist Peter Dooley. None of them is a landlord.

The only candidate to not answer our questions was Green Party councillor Claire Byrne. It is understood she recently bought a house.

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