Dublin City Council pulls out of deal with British arms manufacturer

Deal with BAE systems now considered inappropriate, official circular says

A BAE Systems Eurofighter Typhoon at the Farnborough air show. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A BAE Systems Eurofighter Typhoon at the Farnborough air show. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

 

Dublin City Council has pulled out of a controversial deal to lease six family homes purchased by the pension fund of British arms manufacturer BAE Systems.

An official circular distributed to councillors on Friday said the deal was now considered inappropriate.

It follows mounting political pressure in the wake of reports on the negotiations in The Irish Times.

“Dublin City Council has decided not to enter into leasing arrangements with BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Limited,” the statement to councillors said.

“While the Council initially undertook engagement with BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Limited in good faith in pursuit of leasing units for social housing that would in turn be allocated to people on the Housing List (as the per the national leasing scheme) the Council believes it would not be appropriate to proceed with it.”

On Friday evening, Sinn Féin councillor Daithi Doolan, one of those opposed to the move, said he welcomed a decision by the executive of Dublin City Council not to proceed.

“The executive of Dublin City Council is doing the right thing in not proceeding with a deal with BAE. Leasing housing units from this British arms manufacturer should not have been considered in the first place. The vigilance of citizens and city councillors now ensures that this deal will not proceed,” he said.

“Long-term leasing is just another very poor substitute for the development of social housing by the Council itself. In this case the contract was dropped on ethical grounds. But the whole practice needs to be ended and in the short-term all proposed contacts need to be reviewed on both economic and ethical grounds.”

A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council confirmed the decision on Friday evening.