Tenants Association protests against high rents outside Dublin property firm

Protesters gathered outside a Dublin-based property company earlier against high rents.

Independent TD Mick Wallace was one of the protesters outside IRES, a firm that has some 2,400 units on its books.

The protest coincided with the launch of a new block of apartments in Sandyford in Dublin.

'The Maple' apartment complex will see rents start at €1,800.

The Dublin Tenants Association has picketed the headquarters on Dublin's Grand Canal dock.

The group said the protest was called in response to escalating rents and the wider issue of Government-supported vulture fund activity in Dublin’s crisis hit housing market.

IRES was established in 2014 and has already amassed 2,378 properties, making it one of the biggest private landlords in the country.

Dublin Tenants Association claim tenants have contacted them about poor treatment by IRES.

Mr Wallace told the crowd: "They have flogged them - vulture funds - for a fraction of their worth.

"I've seen apartments sold for less than €100,000 on days when you couldn't be put back there for €200,000 if you got the land for nothing and you were allowed interest free money to do the same.

"It just doesn't make sense.

"We've the likes of... one beds at €1,900 plus a month, three beds at €2,700 a month plus - who in God's name can afford them?

"And why has the Government been prepared to sit back and just allow the whole thing to disintegrate in how we supply our housing in Ireland is beyond me".

Newstalk Drive's Henry McKean went to the protest, and met some of the people struggling to pay rent.

One renter, Patrick Nealise, said: "What happened was I fell into difficult circumstances - personal and mental health wise - and I couldn't afford the rent on a one-bed no more.

"And I had a child that was staying with me and I was told I had to get a two-bed.

"I'm still in a one-bed - I think they're pricing people out of their homes".

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