‘Element of sarcasm’ — Owen Keegan ‘sorry’ over student accommodation comments but refuses to quit
14th October 2021
Dublin City Council’s chief executive Owen Keegan has apologised for his comments on student accommodation but said there was an ‘element of sarcasm’ and he won’t be resigning.© Provided by Extra.ie
Earlier this week, UCD Students’ Union had lodged a complaint with the Dublin City Council over purpose-built student accommodation being used for short-term letting in the capital.
Mr Keegan had responded that if students’ unions had concerns about access to accommodation, they should consider building their own.© Provided by Extra.ie Dublin City Council’s chief executive Owen Keegan has apologised over his comments regarding student accommodation. Pic: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
The statement 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.’
‘I accept there was also an element of sarcasm. 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 that the use of sarcasm was inappropriate on this occasion and I am happy to apologise for the offence I caused.’
Mr Keegan said he will not resign following a student protest on Wednesday calling for his resignation. However he said if members of the council believed his resignation was warranted it was up to them to start the process for removing him as the CEO of Dublin City Council.
The Sinn Féin group on Dublin City Council also called for his resignation.