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No confidence Students call for resignation of Dublin City Council chief following accommodation comments

UCD SU President Ruairí Power said that Keegan needs to resign as students “don’t have any confidence” in him as a leader

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Ian Rathmell during today's protest. Photo: Gareth Chaney /Collins Photos Dublin.

Ian Rathmell during today's protest. Photo: Gareth Chaney /Collins Photos Dublin.

Ian Rathmell during today's protest. Photo: Gareth Chaney /Collins Photos Dublin.

UCD students have called for the resignation of Dublin City Council chief Owen Keegan.

It comes after Mr Keegan suggested in a letter to UCD Students’ Union president Ruairí Power that the union should become developers to provide “lower cost student accommodation for its members.”

His controversial comment read: “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.”

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Eve Brady and Madison Johnson. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Eve Brady and Madison Johnson. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Eve Brady and Madison Johnson. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Earlier today, students protested outside the Dublin City Council offices, calling for a ban on student housing being used for short-term tourist lets.

UCD SU President Ruairí Power said that Keegan needs to resign as students “don’t have any confidence” in him as a leader.

“We do appreciate the apology for the sarcastic nature of the comments,” he told Independent.ie today.

“We still have no confidence in his ability to deliver on the crisis, this isn’t about a personal gripe or us being offended over it, we’ll get over it, it’s no skin off our back but we do need a change in policy from the city council.

“We don't have any confidence in his tenure. The housing and homelessness crises have exacerbated under his leadership, so that's why we're out here, calling firstly for a change in leadership and secondly for change in policy from central government,” he added.

Mr Keegan has since issued a letter of apology addressing his comments.

However, the letter was not sent to UCD’s Students’ Union and was instead directed at councillors.

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In the letter, he 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 that (sic) the use of sarcasm was inappropriate on this occasion and I am happy to apologise for the offence I caused.”

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