Past comments made by Fianna Fáil’s Dublin Bay South byelection candidate about a previous tenant lodging in her home, criticising them for cooking dinner in the kitchen, have been described as “shocking”.
Brigid Purcell, People Before Profit candidate in the upcoming byelection, said the comments were “completely inappropriate” and showed “a lack of respect for renters.
An old online blog from Deirdre Conroy byelection candidate criticised a tenant l for cooking dinner in the kitchen, which she wrote she would be "banning" next time.
In the blog, titled Diary of a Dublin Landlady, she took aim at a former Latvian tenant over his “rancid” smelling cooking. She also criticised the tenant for claiming child benefit for a child back in his home country.
In a February 2013 blog post, the former travel journalist described a “handsome prospect” from Latvia turning up for a viewing, who she said was a “lookalike” of Dr Kovac, a character from the US television drama ER.
Ms Conroy, a Fianna Fáil councillor, was selected to contest the upcoming Dublin Bay South Dáil byelection, which may take place next month.
In her old blog, she first took issue with the Latvian tenant, after he asked for the heating to be put on during the night.
The “last straw” for the tenant came only a few days later, with him “taking over the kitchen for two hours on Sunday evening,” she wrote.
The kitchen layout meant the “foul-smelling cooking” filled the house with “fetid fumes for hours,” she wrote.
“I’ll soon be back looking for a co-habitable tenant, a busy travelling man or woman who doesn’t like to cook. And just needs a base where I’ll happily wash and dry their clothes,” she wrote.
A March 4th, 2013 post struck a more upbeat tone, on the day the tenant was due to move out. “This is the last morning I will awake to the rancid smell of boiled rice and oats,” Ms Conroy wrote.
“I had it on good advice that single men like to eat out and when they’re not eating out they’re at the gym or having pints with their mates. That would be Irish single men, not Latvians,” she said.
Ms Conroy wrote she was “exhausted” from leaving the house to escape the tenant’s “prolonged boiling” in the kitchen, and would be “banning” the next tenant from cooking.
She also criticised the tenant for claiming child benefit for a child back in Latvia, to send the money home. “Worst of all, none of the money will be spent on Irish milk, bread, school uniforms, shoes, or even a night out with the missus,” she wrote.
In a statement, Ms Conroy said the blog was written “in a light hearted manner,” and as a former landlord she had “good experiences and some bad ones.”
“I was not in any way trying to suggest that people from Latvia were bad tenants. I had one bad experience with a tenant who happened to be from Latvia,” she said.
She had rented the room in her home during the financial recession, but no longer did so, she said.
“Anyone who knows me will know that I am a very inclusive person who is committed to ensuring that everyone, irrespective of their background, is treated equally,” she said.