Sinn Féin has opposed building of 6,000 homes across Dublin, says Fine Gael report

Work blocked at sites such as Ballymastone, O’Devaney Gardens and Oscar Traynor, Government party says

Sinn Féin has voted against 6,000 homes across different developments in Dublin, a new report compiled by Fine Gael claims.

The report references a series of interventions including that surrounding the Ballymastone development in Fingal which aims to develop 1,200 homes.

Moves to begin the development in north county Dublin were passed by Fingal County Council in March but without the support of a number of councillors including Sinn Féin and the Social Democrats.

Sinn Féin councillor Ann Graves said at the time her party had rejected the proposal because it would involve 60 per cent private dwellings.


The Fine Gael document also references the O’Devaney Gardens which is to comprise 1,047 residential units across 10 apartment blocks.

Sinn Féin has said it believes the proposed development does not go far enough in terms of delivering affordable homes for local people.

The Fine Gael document also references the Oscar Traynor site in north Dublin. Councillors last November voted 48 to 14 against the plan to sell the site in Santry, just east of the entrance to the Dublin Port Tunnel, despite warnings from the council’s head of housing Brendan Kenny the project would “have to be abandoned” if they did so.

‘Bad deal’

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said councillors were right to vote down the transfer of public land at Oscar Traynor Road to a private developer as it “represented a bad deal for those in housing need”.

The document also gives the example of the rezoning of old industrial lands across Dublin for up to 3,500 homes.

“Sinn Féin voted against the majority of these rezoning projects – a majority of SF councillors voted yes on only three of the rezoning projects, and no on 14.”

The sites are spread across the city, with a concentration in the southwest and northeast.

Several councillors, including from the Social Democrats, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin raised concerns.

They said they could not support the rezonings because they did not know what sort of housing would be built on the lands, with a particular concern that tall apartments and co-living blocks would be built.

Cllr Mícheál Mac Donncha of Sinn Féin said the rezoning was being proposed “within a deeply flawed planning and zoning system”.

‘Flipped by developers’

Local residents have also complained, delaying the plans. Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin has said of the plans that “there is a real risk that if this process is not approached in the right way that the dividend from the increased land value after the rezoning is lost to the city as the sites are flipped by developers”.

In South Dublin County Council, Fine Gael claims Sinn Féin blocked 1,494 homes.

The report references the Kilcarbery Housing Development. In 2018, South Dublin County Council voted to approve a plan for nearly 1,000 homes in the southwest Dublin area, despite opposition from Sinn Féin, Solidarity and People Before Profit.

The document also mentions the Killinarden development to build 500 homes which was voted on last year.

Mr Ó Broin has said he was disappointed that a majority of councillors on South Dublin County Council voted in support of the plans.

“It is deeply disappointing that a majority of councillors on South Dublin County Council last night voted to sell a key public site in Killinarden, Tallaght,” he said at the time.

“This is a huge opportunity lost to deliver 500 public homes to meet social, affordable cost-rental and affordable leasehold-purchase need,” he said.

Fine Gael and Sinn Féin have repeatedly clashed in the Dáil in recent weeks over the issue of housing as the latter continues to increase in popularity at the polls. The report on Sinn Féin’s voting activity comes as the Dublin Bay South election enters its final two weeks.

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times