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Ryanair buying houses not a big issue, says O’Leary

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has said he does not see the purchase of 25 new-build houses in Swords as a big issue and said he would “apologise to nobody for it”.

The airline has bought the properties to rent as cabin crew accommodation.

It said: “In recent years the absence of affordable rental accommodation has been a major impediment to recruiting and training new Irish and European cabin crew members to Ryanair’s in-flight team.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, Mr O’Leary said Ryanair needs to ensure there is accommodation for cabin crew recruited every year.

He said that Ryanair had been renting properties for staff in areas like Citywest but there is no public transport to get from Dublin Airport either early in the morning or late in the evening.

Mr O’Leary explained that staff pay rent and have no difficulty doing so, but there is a problem finding accommodation near Dublin airport.

“What we’re able to do now is to facilitate with rental properties that are just one bus stop from Dublin Airport. So it’s easy and adjacent to the airport for our cabin crew,” he said.

Last year the Government delivered a total of 32,695 new houses, he said, and there 32,655 houses available for families who want to buy them.

He said that the airline would buy more properties if necessary, but said he did not think it would have to.

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