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poll battle Tipperary landlord filmed pinning a man to a wall says he plans to stand in local election

Kevin Burke claims the man he accosted was not living there and he was called to the property to protect his tenant.

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Landlord Kevin Burke speaking to reporter Patrick O’Connell

Landlord Kevin Burke speaking to reporter Patrick O’Connell

Landlord Kevin Burke speaking to reporter Patrick O’Connell

A landlord who featured in a controversial video, where he pinned a man to a wall with an iron bar in one of his properties, intends to run in the 2024 local elections as an Independent candidate.

Kevin Burke, who lives in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, told the Irish Independent: “I feel if I get elected as a councillor, and hopefully go on as a TD, I would make a difference."

A video of Mr Burke shouting at a man over a broken door in a property he owns in Roscrea recently went viral.

"You f***ing pay me for the door, do you understand," he can be heard screaming in the video before placing a bar up to the man’s throat.

Mr Burke claims the man he accosted was not living there, and he called to the property after his tenant texted him to say he was concerned about his safety after someone broke the door of the house.

“Some people see the video and are still of the opinion that I was a vulgar landlord that was hassling tenants for money, but they don’t know the background,” he said.

“I’d like to clarify for the record that that was an act I put on.

"I pretended to be outraged and that in the video so as to frighten whoever was in there not to fight or attack me as I didn’t know what I was facing.

"That's basically what we were at. The door had been broken and the situation came to an amicable solution.”

Gardai were later called to the property and a spokesperson confirmed they are continuing to conduct enquiries into the matter.

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“There are no further updates available at this time,” the spokesperson added.

Despite the controversy, Mr Burke announced his intention to contest the local elections in the Midland Tribune.

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Landlord Kevin Burke

Landlord Kevin Burke

Landlord Kevin Burke

He told the paper that some of the issues he would like to address if he gets elected to Tipperary County Council include accountability in An Garda Siochana, the housing crisis and the scourge of drugs in rural Ireland.

“My background is in farming and commercial business. I ran a pub before and I would have a good level of general knowledge,” he said.

“There is nobody being held to account in An Garda Siochana. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against gardaí, I have family who are guards and we need a good force for the country, but there has to be more accountability and transparency.”

Mr Burke said he owns a “moderate” number of properties in Tipperary, Laois and Offaly and believes more needs to be done to address the issue of derelict properties.

He also said more needs to be done to incentivise landlords, claiming that “a lot are probably owed a fair fraction of money”.

“The majority of clients to be honest would be a small bit behind on rent in some shape or form. You have to take that. It’s never an issue. Everyone has to live.

"If something turns up and someone can’t pay this week and can pay you next week, or do their best, that’s all you can ask.

"I would imagine most landlords in the country would be owed a fair fraction of money as that is just life in general. Most people I have in, a lot of them wouldn’t be able to afford a deposit, and I would forfeit that.

“If you look at Mountrath in Laois, it’s like a ghost town, almost every second property is derelict. There are hundreds on the housing list… in Mountrath, it’s a direct route, you could commute from Dublin to there but there is derelict building after derelict building.”

He told the Midland Tribune he will be seeking the Government to provide property owners of vacant buildings a Grant Aid to help them renovate buildings to be rented out.

"To encourage property owners to partake in the scheme I would suggest the government introduce a dereliction tax in the region of €800 per annum in urban areas. This scheme would only apply to urban areas where the infrastructure is there to meet the demands,” he said.

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