Landlords, property developers and big business owners: the interests of Dublin City Council staff

Dublin City Council employees are leasing their properties to the local authority under the Rental Accommodation Scheme. Many of these properties were originally built as social housing by the council.

The Ditch can also reveal that almost 1 in 11 DCC senior staff are landlords including its chief executive and a senior manager who recently let his property in Raheny, Dublin 5 for €2,700 a month.

The council’s chief legal officer meanwhile owns half the shares in a food company that rakes in €20 million annually and employs more than 170 staff.

Once social housing. Now in private hands

Dublin City Council’s senior staff and those who work in housing – currently 760 of its 6,000 employees – must submit annual declarations of interests to the local authority under the Local Government Act 2001. Like elected city councillors, these staff must disclose their property and business interests. 

The Ditch obtained a copy of the 2022-2023 staff interests register. Just more than 8.5 percent of these staff, 66 out of 760 employees, own rental properties. 

Among the landlords are two staff who lease their properties, both of which are located in the council’s administrative area, to their local authority employer under the Rental Accommodation Scheme. 

The list includes a local area manager who this year rented out a three-bedroom Raheny, Dublin 5 property he co-owns with two siblings for €2,700 a month.

Recently appointed chief executive Richard Shakespeare lets a property in Dalkey that is held in a trust for his three children and a nephew. 

A community coordinator rents out her two-bedroom terraced house in Cabra, Dublin 7, which was advertised to let in 2021 for €2,000 a month.

A senior social worker is meanwhile renting out her one-bed flat in Finglas, Dublin 11 for just less than €1,400 a month, according to an advertisement published in May this year. 

Other landlords include a senior architect who owns a two-bedroom apartment in Donnybrook, Dublin 4. A double bedroom in the property was recently advertised online to rent for €990 a month. 

The list also includes a quantity surveyor who in 2018 advertised his two-bedroom apartment in Blanchardstown for €1,800 a month and an executive planner getting €1,400 a month for her one-bedroom flat, which is also in Dublin 15.

Some of the landlord employees own investment properties outside Dublin, including a senior engineer with a four-bedroom home in Leixlip, county Kildarem which was advertised to let seven years ago for €1,800 a month.

Not all employees own only one rental property. A senior executive engineer has declared his ownership of three adjacent rental apartments in Dún Laoghaire, county Dublin. 

One of the two employees leasing their house to the council owns another two properties in Dublin and Waterford. Among them is a house he rents on a long-term lease to his former employer Fingal County Council, as well as student accommodation in county Waterford. 

An executive building surveyor who previously owned just one investment property recently added another house in Finglas to his rental portfolio last year.

Many of the rental properties included in the list were originally built as social housing by Dublin City Council, when it was Dublin Corporation.

Some staff have interests that aren’t property-related. The council’s head of legal, law agent Yvonne Kelly, owns 50 percent of the shares in health food company Nourish, which has an annual turnover of just less than €20 million and employs over 170 staff across its chain of stores. 

Other staff have triple incomes, including a housing advisor who manages a restaurant and owns an apartment in Dublin 8, which has been rented out for 22 years, according to her declaration of interests. 

A recently hired executive planner owns a 20 percent stake in her family’s Wicklow-based property development firm.

A council spokesperson said its staff's declarations of interest provide "for an undertaking of any employee to have regard to and be guided by the relevant code of conduct in regard of the exercise of their function. DCC will take the appropriate action in line with the legislation where it becomes aware of any potential conflict of interest."

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors