Efforts to save residents of a Dún Laoghaire apartment block from eviction have stalled, the Minister for Housing has told the Dáil.

Darragh O'Brien told Richard Boyd-Barrett that Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and approved housing bodies have sought to buy or rent empty apartments at St Helen's Court for the tenants. However, the landlord had refused.

A number of residents have been in limbo since 2017 when the complex was first acquired by a new owner, and they were told to vacate.

Since then, a new landlord has taken over and much of the apartment block is now empty, but a small number of tenants remain.

"They evict tenants on the grounds of sale and then they tell the council we're not selling, it's a joke," Deputy Boyd-Barrett told the Dáil.

He said the situation was "not plausible".

Darragh O'Brien told the Dáil that he would continue to engage with the local authority, and he was doing his best to find a solution.

The preference is for the state or an approved housing body to buy or rent one of the empty units as social housing, which the remaining tenants could then move into.

Minister O'Brien pointed out that local authorities, in exceptional circumstances, have purchased homes with tenants in situ.

However, he warned that such an approach is only considered in extreme cases as there could be a situation where individuals in those houses would effectively jump to the top of the social housing list.

Deputy Boyd-Barrett said that the tenants in questions are recipients of Housing Assistance Payment and therefore deemed eligible for social housing.

"Let's get around this, these people cannot be allowed to evict tenants who've paid their rent, even now they're paying their rent, they've never missed a rent, they've done absolutely nothing wrong", Richard Boyd Barrett said.

The Dún Laoghaire TD, whos constituency office is across from the apartment building, told the Dáil that there are 13 empty units in the development.