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Doolan - Site profit must be used to tackle housing crisis

30 November, 2005

Sinn Féin's Dublin South East Representative Councillor Daithí Doolan demanded, "the profits from today's sale of the site at the former UCD Veterinary College in Ballsbridge be used to tackle the housing crisis in Dublin".

Speaking this evening Cllr. Doolan said, "the site here in Ballsbridge was sold today for a staggering €170m. This land should not simply be sold off to the highest bidder for hotels or private apartments. It is another example of the government selling off our resources to their allies in big business. This land was state land, tax payer‚s land and the profit should be used to tackle the housing crisis in this city. It is totally unacceptable that the money should simply go to the government with no return to the city.

"The average cost of building a house in the capital is 100,000. This means that if the Government gave the profit to Dublin City Council we would now be in a position to provide 1,700 social and affordable houses in Dublin. But it seems the Government would rather sell the land to a private developer than solve the housing crisis. This is in direct conflict with the Council motion I tabled and which was passed at the November which called for the land to be handed over to City Council.

"To date the track record of the government has been appalling, 6 homeless people have recently died on our streets this year, what message does the sale of this land send out to their families and those seeking housing. I am committed to ensuring the sale of this land is used to meet the needs of people and not simply the needs of private developers."

In conclusion, Cllr. Doolan called on, "Minister for the Environment Dick Roche to return the money to Dublin City Council so it can ring fenced for a housing programme in the capital." ENDS

City Council Motion: "That this City Council calls on the government not to sell the former UCD Veterinary College, Dublin 4 but instead hand it over to Dublin City Council with a view to alleviating the housing crisis in the City."

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