Fianna Fáil councillor Deirdre Conroy told lodger, paying €260 a week, not to cook in kitchen

Young woman renting room from Conroy was told to wash dishes in the bathroom sink

A lodger renting a room in a house owned by Fianna Fáil councillor Deirdre Conroy was told they should not cook in the kitchen and that their rent of €260 a week was “very low”.

The lodger, a French student on a summer internship in Dublin, said she was told she should wash any plates or cutlery in the sink of their en suite bathroom rather than in the kitchen.

Ms Conroy, a councillor on Dublin City Council, was also living in the house in Clonskeagh, south Dublin. She previously stood unsuccessfully for Fianna Fáil in the Dublin Bay South Dáil byelection in 2021.

Emails from Ms Conroy to the lodger, seen by The Irish Times, show the councillor advised her against cooking in the kitchen during her stay.


“My office is downstairs and beside the kitchen, so we don’t advise cooking,” Ms Conroy wrote. “The last student was happy to order dinner delivered and have it upstairs,” she wrote.

The lodger paid €1,411 to rent the room for 5½ weeks from the start of this June.

The politician told the young woman that this rent of about €260 a week was “very low”, emails show.

Ms Conroy said she planned to increase the rent to €1,600 a month for the next person renting the room. “As mentioned it is low rent for you. It will be going on to 400 per week after that,” she said.

A signed rental agreement stated that “part of kitchen use” was included in the short-term contract. “This is a congenial agreement, based on trust and mutual respect,” it added.

The student, who did not wish to be named publicly, said when she moved in she was told “the kitchen cannot be used” as the cooker and microwave were broken. “I was basically eating sandwiches and salads for a whole month,” she told The Irish Times.

She said Ms Conroy showed her a nearby restaurant she could order takeaway food from during her stay.

The woman said she was provided with a kettle and fridge in her room, as well as a handful of plates, and sponges to clean them in her en suite bathroom sink.

In a statement, Ms Conroy said she had rented a master bedroom in her house “on a few occasions because of the need to make ends meet and also to facilitate visiting lecturers”.

“All of the people who stayed with me were very happy with the large room I provided. At times, I did have problems with the microwave, but I’m not prepared to detail them to you,” she said.

The councillor said she believed the rent charged for the stay was reasonable. “The fee is only €35 per day, which includes master bedroom, en suite, separate livingroom in the loft ... electricity, heating, broadband, all hot water,” she said.

Ms Conroy added she had provided a fridge, kettle, toaster and Nespresso coffee machine and the room was the largest in the house.

During the 2021 byelection campaign an old blog written by Ms Conroy resurfaced, where she criticised a previous lodger for cooking in the kitchen of her home.

In the 2013 blog, titled Diary of a Dublin Landlady, she said as a result of the “foul-smelling cooking” from the former Latvian tenant she would be “banning” her next tenant from cooking in the kitchen.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times