Archive for April, 2017


April 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Minister Murphy Spoofs Selective and Misleading Statistics

But Rise in Nett Number of Children in Homelessness in July 2019 Was 103

John Kilraine,   RTE  Updated / Monday, 2 Sep 2019

The latest homeless figures have increased for the first time in two months, with the increase being directly attributed to a rise in the number of homeless children.

103 more children were listed as homeless in July.

The figures show there are now 10,275 adults and children in emergency accommodation.

While the number of adults has remained static at 6,497 the number of children has increased to 3,778.

Responding the new figures the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, said the situation remains a “huge challenge”.

“There are fewer families and children in emergency accommodation today than this time last year” (Comparison with previous years are unreliable due to “recategorisations” by the Minister. Figures published by the Ministers Department below show that there was a nett increase of 8 families in emergency accommodation in this July 2019 over June 2019) The Minister continued “ Of course there shouldn’t be any, but the fact that there are less, despite continuing high levels of presentations each month, speaks to the huge response from NGO’s, the DRHE, local authorities and the Government”.

The increase in homelessness comes despite 2,825 ‘exits from homelessness’ in the first six months of this year which involves either people in emergency accommodation being housed or people in private accommodation being prevented from going into homelessness.

The Department of Housing said the number of exits is 21% up on the same period last year and 19% of these went into local authority housing . (Minister should give the “bad news as well-How many entered homelessness in the first 6 months of this year-PH)

The department is to publish quarterly reports as well as monthly reports from now on.


Published on Monday 2nd September 2019

Minister Murphy publishes new Homeless Quarterly Progress Report and July Report on homelessness

Mr. Eoghan Murphy T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, today (2 September 2019) published the first in a new series of Homeless Quarterly Progress Reports, alongside the monthly Homelessness Report for July 2019. July Update

  • The monthly report for July shows that there were a total of 10,275 individuals in emergency accommodation, including 6,497 adults, 1,721 families and 3,778 dependants.
  • This represents an increase of 103 on the numbers in emergency accommodation from the June report.
  • In July, in Dublin, 221 families were deemed as being homeless. 97 families were found a home immediately and 116 families exited emergency accommodation. (This means that there was a net increase of 8 families in homelessness in July 2019-PH)


Two of Ireland’s Leading Housing Campaigners, Sr Stanislaus Kennedy and Fr Peter McVerry , say they have lost all confidence in the Governments Committment to Addressing Housing Crisis, as number of Homeless Families Rises

Almost 500 children became homeless last month – the biggest monthly increase since current data gathering began in 2014 according to Data from the Department of Housing

Kitty Holland Irish Times To-day March 29, 2018

As new figures show a huge increase in the number of homeless families, two of Ireland’s leading housing campaigners say they have “lost all confidence” in the Government’s commitment to addressing the crisis.

Sr Stanislaus Kennedy and Fr Peter McVerry issued a joint statement last night as latest figures show there are now almost 10,000 people homeless across Ireland, including 3,755 children.

Data from the Department of Housing show almost 500 children became homeless last month – the biggest monthly increase since current data gathering began in 2014.

Between January and February, the number of homeless people increased by 703 from 9,104 to 9,807.

Focus Ireland firmly believes that the Government must act to take the decisions it has shied away from for several years

During the week of February 20th to 26th, there were 3,755 homeless children in 1,739 families, compared with 3,267 homeless children in 1,517 families in January.

In February 2017, there were 7,421 people homeless, including 2,546 children in 1,239 families. This represents a 32 per cent increase in overall homelessness, a 40 per cent increase in family homelessness, and a 47 per cent increase in the number of homeless children.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said the figures seemed to “indicate a very worrying trend”.

Lack of supply

Mr Murphy blamed a lack of supply as the main cause for the rise. “All of the trends, all of the indicators are pointing to a very dramatic increase in housing supply over the course of 2018 and into 2019 and as those homes are built, they are going to have an impact in reducing the number of people in homeless accommodation.”

Describing the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland plan to tackle the housing crisis as “deeply flawed”, Fr McVerry said it was presented “with a stack of press statements aimed primarily at presenting a positive picture”.

Sr Stan said she was “deeply concerned” at the Government’s continued emphasis on family hubs as a means to address the crisis for families. She said there was “no sense of urgency” in the Government’s approach.

Others described the figures as “shocking”, “unacceptable” and indicative of a crisis “spiralling out of control”.

Focus Ireland, the lead agency working with homeless families in Dublin, said the Government was failing to tackle the deepening crisis.

“Focus Ireland firmly believes that the Government must act to take the decisions it has shied away from for several years,” chief executive Pat Dennigan said. “This includes actively building social housing, taxing those who hoard building land and protecting the rights of tenants facing eviction.”


Almost 10,000 people now homeless, new figures show

Focus Ireland Chief Executive Pat Dennigan said: “There has been an unacceptable 40 per cent increase in family homelessness in Ireland in the last year and we believe that this shows that the Government strategy is failing.

Kitty Holland

Irish Times : Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 16:57

There are now almost 10,000 people homeless across Ireland, including 3,755 children, according to the latest figures from the Department of Housing.

The increase in the number of homeless children, by almost 500, between January and February, is largest monthly increase since current data gathering began, in mid-2014. The figures have been described as “shocking”, “unacceptable” and indicative of a crisis “spiralling out of control”.

The monthly homelessness report from the department shows for the week of 20th to 26th February there were 9,807 people homeless, including 3,755 children in 1,739 families.

This compares with 22nd to 28th January, when there were 9,104 people homeless, including 3,267 children in 1,517 families.

In February 2017, there were 7,421 people homeless, including 2,546 children in 1,239 families. This represents a 32 per increase in overall homelessness, a 40 per cent increase in family homelessness, and a 47 per cent increase in the number of homeless children.

Focus Ireland, the lead agency working with homeless families in Dublin, said the Government was “failing to tackle the deepening crisis”.

Chief Executive Pat Dennigan said: “There has been an unacceptable 40 per cent increase in family homelessness in Ireland in the last year and we believe that this shows that the Government strategy is failing.

“Focus Ireland firmly believes that the Government must act to take the decisions it has shied away from for several years. This includes actively building social housing, taxing those who hoard building land and protecting the rights of tenants facing eviction.”

In Dublin, there are now 2,801 homeless children in 1,329 families, compared with 2,509 in 1,191 families in January. A year ago the figures were 2,129 children in 1,055 families in Dublin.


Housing department figures reveal 4% increase on those without home in October



Fianna Fáil and the Independent Alliance are supporting Savage Pro-Wealthy Government Policies

The General Strike Called For By Seamus Healy TD is the Only Hope for Change


From Aine McMahon  Irish Times    20/12/2017

The number of homeless people increased again in November, according to the latest report from the Department of Housing.

Homeless crisis: Nearly 9,000 destitute in November

Housing department figures reveal 4% increase on those without home in October

More than 8,800 people were homeless in November; 5,524 adults, and 3,333 children were accessing emergency accommodation services last month.

The report also says that 1,530 families were accessing emergency accommodation.

The figures show an increase of about 4 per cent on the numbers of homeless people in October.


 “Shoe Box on the Quay” For 200,000+ to Buy and 18,000 per year to Rent -Government Caves in to Developers!  The (existing) restrictions had been widely criticised by business leaders and developers who believe they hindered apartment supply.

From Irish Times   Dec 18 2017

Height restrictions on residential buildings are to be altered to allow for easier construction of high-rise developments in cities across the State.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy is to announce a number of changes to planning guidelines largely in relation to apartment buildings including the removal of a requirement to have car-parking spaces.

He also intends to increase the cap on the number of units that can be on a floor for every lift or staircase from eight to 12. The necessity for apartments to be dual-aspect, meaning they must have windows on two different walls, will also be changed.

Mr Murphy said the measures would address a number of challenges including making it more cost-effective to build apartments.

The most significant change is the removal of the height restrictions. Currently residential developments in low-rise areas of inner-city Dublin can be only six storeys (about 24m high), with lower limits in the suburbs.

The Minister intends to remove that cap and instead use the suitability of the site as a guiding principle.

“It was clear to me upon taking office that we had a particular problem in this area. While there might be plenty of cranes across the skyline of Dublin for example, the vast majority are building offices, not homes. We need to turn this around,” he said.

Parking spaces

The (existing) restrictions have been widely criticised by business leaders and developers who believe they hindered apartment supply.


Fr McVerry Lacerates Taoiseach Veradkar  and Government on Housing and Homelessness on Clare Byrne Live

Government Housing Policy—–Seamus Healy TD Calls For A MASSIVE NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION and One Day General Strike TO Stop Government’s Cruel Housing Policy  

Interview Fr McVerry on Clare Byrne Live, Saturday,  Nov18 at   1.30pm

Clare Byrne : You were very angry with Eileen Gleeson, Director of homelessness?

Peter McVerry: It was Taoiseach Leo Veradkar I was Raging with-because he said is wrong- that Irish Homelessness was low by International standards- He was quoting figures from a two year old OECD Report

Homelessness in Ireland has doubled since then. The foreword to the OECD REPORT says the figures for different countries shouldn’t be compared. 15 of the 30 countries covered in the Report count lounge surfers and adults living with relatives as homeless. If the homelessness in Ireland was counted as the same basis as in these countries, we would have 80,000 not 20,000 homeless. The Taoiseach is trying to talk down the problem.

One of the problems with government policy is that there is nothing to prevent people being evicted into homelessness. Most homeless people are being  evicted into homelessness from the private sector . A bill was brought into the Dáil some time ago to prevent people being evicted into homelessness except for anti-social behaviour. The Government voted it down.

Recently 12 families were referred to Garda Stations for the night…..


Residents ‘totally shocked’ at ‘mass eviction’ from city apartments by Lungus Capital

Aimee O’Riordan (26) admitted residents of the Leeside Apartments on Bachelor’s Quay in Cork city centre were left “totally shocked” by the notices to quit.

Irish Independent  Nov 16  Ralph Riegel and Ian Begley

A YOUNG mother who faces losing her home in the “mass eviction” of a Cork apartment complex by its new owners said she has no idea where she will find alternative accommodation.

Aimee O’Riordan (26) admitted residents of the Leeside Apartments on Bachelor’s Quay in Cork city centre were left “totally shocked” by the notices to quit.

A total of 23 families and single tenants are currently living in the apartment complex which is just 100m from Cork city centre.

The new owners have asked all residents to leave, serving notices to quit on everyone, as they explained they need vacant possession for major refurbishment work.

Lugus Capital, which bought the complex last October, said it plans a €3m refurbishment to ensure it is in full compliance with fire safety certification.

The tenants, many of whom are East European, have been informed they need to quit the complex by next March.

However, Aimee said many residents now fear they have little or no chance of finding comparable accommodation in Cork city as the same rent level.

Aimee has lived at the Leeside Apartments for five years – and it is the only home known by her son, Alex (4).

The little boy is due to start school and Aimee is afraid that his life will be totally disrupted if she is forced to move a substantial distance away from the Bachelor’s Quay area.

“In the worst case scenario, I may have to suspend my studies,” she said.

“I am studying for a BA degree in Social Work and it is something I hope to make a career of,” she said.

“In the worst case scenario, I will have to suspend my University College Cork (UCC) studies.

“This is a lovely place to live. The rent has been very reasonable, there are lovely, friendly people living here and it is where I have built my life,” she said.

“I like it here. I first came here and thought it would be temporary but I stayed. It is convenient and it is safe.”

She first learned of the eviction when she heard a noise in the corridor outside her apartment and, on going to investigate, found a legal notice taped to the front door.

The mass eviction dominated headlines in Cork with radio stations such as 96FM flooded with calls of support for residents like Aimee.

Dozens of callers have slated the timing of the eviction notices.

Cork North Central TD Mick Barry (S-PBP) raised the residents plight in the Dáil and he accused landlords of playing havoc with peoples lives.

“The Minister for Housing must move urgently to close the legal loophole which allows evictions of this kind,” he said.

“I am confident that if these residents organise and fight these evictions they will have the support of ordinary people right across the country.”

Mr Barry also said the timing of the eviction notices so close to Christmas was incredibly heartless.

Residents like Aimee have already consulted with housing support agencies like Threshold.

“My concern is that there simply isn’t any comparable accommodation to this, particularly in terms of rental costs, in the city centre,” she said.

“I don’t want to end up living miles from here because this is where we have built our lives.”

Termination letters were received by all residents in early October.

The property owners hope to have vacant possession by next March.

The letters explained: “The following works will be carried out. The installation of new fire doors, the refurbishment of all common areas, installation of new flooring throughout common areas and apartments in the building, refurbishment and redecoration of apartments and installation of new kitchens in apartments”.

Lugus Capital insisted the work on the complex is vital.

“The refurbishment is necessary not only to bring the building up to modern standards but also to maintain the safety of the residents.”

Leeside Apartments is comprised of 78 apartments which offer 175 beds complete with a private 32-space car park.

The entire complex was on the market last year for €7.75m.

At the time, it boasted a near 90pc occupancy rate.

In the letters received by the residents, the owners stressed that they would be offered the chance to re-occupy the property once it becomes available for re-letting.

However, all the residents believe that the rents – some of which are currently €730 per month for a two bedroom apartment – will be substantially increased at that point.

In a statement, Lungus Capital said:

“Cork’s Leeside Apartments are to undergo a €3 million refurbishment, with works to commence in December 2017. Leeside Apartments are currently not in compliance with their fire certificates, so the refurbishment is necessary not only to bring the building up to modern standards but also to maintain the safety of the residents. Lugus Capital acquired the building at the start of October 2017, and as part of their acquisition process, they carried out a full structural survey and fire safety inspection.

“Currently, there are only 23 residential tenancies at Leeside Apartments. All residential tenants have been issued notices, with full notice periods corresponding to the length of their tenancy.”


Veradkar! You Should Apologise To The Homeless!—Seamus Healy TD Speaking in Dáil

Listen Live

Seamus Healy TD   Transcript of Dáil Speech

The Taoiseach, Deputy Varadkar, must issue a public apology to homeless families, children and individuals. The Taoiseach’s dishonesty is breathtaking, and he and his Government are homelessness deniers. He deliberately and dishonestly abused an OECD report to deny and downplay the housing and homelessness emergency. The OECD report specifically states that its findings must not be used for comparison purposes. The statistics are not and never were comparable from one country to another. Into the bargain, the statistics are two years old. The Taoiseach must be called out on this issue and must do the decent thing and issue an apology.

Fr. Peter McVerry said today, and I agree with him, that the only solution to this problem of homelessness is to build social housing at a very intensive rate. It is quite obvious that this House and this Government are all talk and very little action. The Government is obviously not doing enough and will continue to put its faith in the private market, which has been a disaster for families. What will the Government’s coalition partner do about this issue? I refer to Fianna Fáil. Fianna Fáil’s hands are dirty on this issue and they are getting dirtier with every day. It has a supply-and-confidence arrangement with the Government and is keeping it in power. Fianna Fáil has a responsibility to sort out the housing issue once and for all and ensure that the Government builds large-scale local authority housing.

I will support the Bill but the hypocrisy of the Labour Party on this issue is monumental. It was in government for five years and has made the housing and homelessness crisis worse. During those five years, it held the housing portfolio at Minister of State and senior ministerial level and made matters worse.

It is now obvious that major demonstrations of people power will be necessary to ensure that this issue is solved and that large-scale social and affordable housing is built. I also call on the trade union movement to call a one-day general strike on this issue to ensure it is treated with the seriousness it deserves.


STOP PRESS: Fr McVerry on TodaySOR has just Exposed Taoiseach Veradkar’s shameful falsehood on Irish Homelessness being low by International Standards.


It seems we are in a mad situation where the strategy is not to build local authority housing at all across the country.”-Mel Reynolds, Architect and Property Consultant

Social housing at a standstill: ‘You have to wonder is this policy’

Kity Holland, Irish Times Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 05:00

There has been “consistent” underperformance by all local authorities in building social housing, according to new figures obtained by The Irish Times.

Less than 1 per cent of the social housing needed across the State has been built by local authorities or approved housing bodies since the start of last year, according to the data, compiled by housing policy analyst and architect Mel Reynolds.

While there were 120,598 households on the national housing waiting list at the end of September, just 1,093 social housing dwellings have been built since January 2016 – 0.9 per cent of what is needed. Of these 638 were built last year and 455 in the first six months of 2017. Approved housing bodies built 634 and local authorities 459.

Across Dublin’s four local authorities, where there are 40,207 households on the list, just 478 units have been completed – 1.2 per cent of what is needed – since the start of last year. The majority, 324, were built by housing bodies.

In the first six months of this year no social housing was built directly by three of the capital’s authorities, with a combined list of 33,180 households. Just Fingal, which has a waiting list of 7,027, built, a total of just 10 units.

In five counties – Laois, which has a list of 1,336 households, Leitrim (420 households), Offaly (1,650), Roscommon (662) and Wicklow (2,749) – not one unit of social housing has been built, either by a local authority or an approved housing body, since January 2016 to June this year.

Mr Reynolds said he analysed the data to “cut through the noise coming from the Department of Housing”.

He drew on data from the department, including the most recent “social housing assessments” list, which states there were 91,600 households on the list in 2016. The most recent Housing Assistance Payment transfer list, compiled in September, shows 28,998 households waiting for social housing.

‘Nothing happening’

The social housing completions lists, also provided by the department, show the best performing local authority was Wexford, where 67 social dwellings were built – 49 in 2016 and 18 in the first six months of this year – or 2.2 per cent of the 3,050 households on the housing list.

Outside Dublin, dwellings for 0.93 per cent of the 5,347 households on the list in Limerick city and county were built since January 2016. Of these 50 homes, eight were built by approved housing bodies and 42 by local authorities.

In Cork city, 59 homes – enough for 0.98 per cent of the 6,005 households waiting – were built. Of these 28 were built by housing bodies and 31 by the local authority. In Galway city, which has 4,095 on the housing list, 42 homes were built – enough for 1 per cent of those in need.

“These figures are very poor,” said Mr Reynolds. “You really have to wonder is this policy. Take Kildare, which is a wealthy county, full of commuter towns to Dublin and it has almost 7,000 households on the list. The council has not built one unit since January 2016.

“This is not just one or two councils underperforming in the last few months. This is consistent, across the board, widespread and long-term. There is almost nothing happening in social housing. It seems we are in a mad situation where the strategy is not to build local authority housing at all across the country.”

Speculating as to whether there was an unspoken policy to “hope the private sector will sort it all out”, he said Dublin was “particularly severely affected”.

“The private sector is only building for the top 20 per cent of the market. Dublin is now unaffordable for the majority, to buy or rent.”

© 2017



Seamus Healy TD Calls For One-Day General Strike on Housing Before Christmas!
Listen Live To Seamus’ Dail Speech
ICTU Called on Government to Formally Declare National Housing Emergency But Government Refused
Government Voted Down Dáil Motion by Seamus Healy TD Calling for the Declaration Oct 26
Seamus Healy Motion (Resumed) [Private Members] Full Dáil Record Click on the Link here


Seamus Healy’s Private Members Motion Calling For Legislative Declaration of a National Housing Emergency in Dáil Defeated by Fine Gael, Independent Alliance and Fianna Fail

Labour Humiliated as It’s Amendment Deleting Healy’s Call Secures a Mere 10 Votes

But Healy’s Motion Secures More Votes than Fianna Fail’s Amendment!!!

The happenings reported are fundamental to the future of the left
Although Parliamentary Activity is but One Reflection of the Political Stance of Parties and Deputies , an understanding of the political processes at work in the votes on Seamus Healy’s Private Members motion is important in discussing the future of the left.
The issue at stake was extremely fundamental-Should the Right to A Home be Put Before the Right of Banks, Vultures, Buy-to-let Landlords to Protection of their Private Property under the Constitution of Ireland???
Housing: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members] Thursday Oct 26
Full Dáil Record : Click on the Link here or lpaste into Google

A Private Members motion was moved by Deputy Seamus Healy on Tuesday, 24 October 2017. The Motion Called for Legislation for Declaration of A National Housing Emergency. The declaration was sought by Seamus Healy TD in order to enable the Oireachtas to introduce measures which place “the exigencies of the public good” above the Protection of Private Property, as provided in the Irish Constitution. He argued that this was necessary to tackle the housing and homeless ness crisis. He cited the declaration of a financial emergency to enable FEMPI cuts in pensions which unlike pay are private property in Law
FG amendment Deleting Call for Formal Declaration of a Housing Emergency and claiming gov measures are sufficient
The Dáil divided:Tá, 52 (FG And IND Alliance only) ; Níl, 82; (All other Deputies Present) Staon, 0.
FF AMENDMENT: The Amendment Deleted The Call for Declaration of a National Housing Emergency and cricised government for putting “spin above delivery”
FF Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 37 (FF only); Níl, 99( Many non-government deputies went missing and did not formally abstain); Staon, 0
Labour Party Amendment: Deleted Call for Declaration of a National Housing Emergency. It claimed that there was adequate court rulings in relation constitutional limits on protection of private propery going back to Kenny Report (1974) to enable adequate measures to be taken to solve housing crisis. When asked why they did not use these when in government on 3 occasions since 1974, Jan O’Sullivan avoided the question!
Humiliation of Labour Party in vote
Labour Party Amendment Put
The Dáil divided: Tá, (Labour 7, Greens 2, Catherine Murphy(SD)1) 10; Níl, 125 (All other Deputies Present); Staon, 0.

Voting on Unamended Motion from Seamus Healy TD
Question put: “That the motion be agreed to.”
The Dáil divided
Tá 42:(Including Seamus Healy WUAG, Sinn Féin, Soidarity-PBP, Ind4Change,Labour, Mattie McGrath, Michael Lowry, Micheal Collins,Ml Fitzmaurice) ,
Níl, 90;(FF, FG, Ind Alliance, Harty(Clare), Grealish(Galway)) Staon, 0. Some Deputies missing who did not formally abstain.
Labour having voted for deletion of the call for declaration of national housing emergency-then voted for it!
Unusually Lowry Voted AGAINST Government rather than abstaining or going missing!


Focus Ireland through its Ceo Mike Allen again called for a halt to Evictions from Buy-to-Let Dwellings in recent days.

If The Proposal of Seamus Healy TD That a National Housing Emrgency  Be Formally Declared in Law Had Been Implemented The Housing Minister Could not Have Justified refusing to Ban such  Evictions by Saying:””You have to find a balance between the people who are renting the property and the persons who own the property.” This reasoning arises from the primacy of the right to private property in the Constitution over the right to housing in the absece of the formal declaration of a housing emergency by Dáil Éireann.

The biggest single source of homelessness is evictions from rental properties. Accordingly Focus Ireland has long been advocating a ban on Evictions from Buy-to-Let Dwellings

Seamus Healy Proposed this as an amendment  to the Planning, Development and Residential Bill 2016. It was voted down by FG, Lab, FF, Greens.

Law change to stop landlords evicting families rejected by Government-Irish Times Article Oct 27

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said homelessness figures are still ‘”unacceptably high’

The Government has ruled out any change in the law that would stop families being evicted by landlords, as the number of people living in emergency accommodation has hit record levels.

Focus Ireland has called for the new legislation, saying it is needed to tackle the homelessness crisis.

However, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy insisted the law will not be changed.

“You can’t bring in a change of the law that would prevent eviction.

“You have to find a balance between the people who are renting the property and the persons who own the property,” he said.

Mr Murphy admitted that the homelessness figures are still “unacceptably high”, but said there has been progress.

The number of people living in emergency accommodation has reached a record high, with figures showing 8,374 people accessed emergency accommodation last month.

The figures from the Department of Housing show that 3,124 of these were children.

The number of people in emergency accommodation in Dublin in September was 5,953, while 690 families were being housed in hotels and B&Bs across the country.

Mr Murphy told RTE’s Morning Ireland on Friday that for the first time in three years, the number of families exiting emergency accommodation in Dublin had increased for two months in a row.

He added: “We are making some progress and want to continue to make progress in the months ahead,” he added.



 Comment on Motion Below

“ That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:
Article 40.3.1° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State guarantees in its laws to respect and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen;
Article 40.3.2° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State shall, in particular, by its laws protect as best it may from unjust attack and, in the case of injustice done, vindicate the life, person, good name, and property rights of every citizen;
Article 43.1.1° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State acknowledges that man, in virtue of his rational being, has the natural right, antecedent to positive law, to the private ownership of external goods;
Article 43.1.2° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State accordingly guarantees to pass no law attempting to abolish the right of private ownership or the general right to transfer, bequeath, and inherit property;
Article 43.2.1° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State recognises, however, that the exercise of the rights mentioned in the foregoing provisions of this Article ought, in civil society, to be regulated by the principles of social justice; and
Article 43.2.2° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State, accordingly, may as occasion requires delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good;
further notes:
the importance of the provisions that require protection of private property to be regulated by the principles of social justice and, accordingly, that the State may as occasion requires, such as the current housing and homelessness emergency, delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good;
the statement of the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in the Irish Examiner on 11th May, 2016, ‘I think we have a national emergency that needs a response that is comprehensive and so I have been working late hours trying to start the process of putting that response together’;
the call for the declaration of a national housing emergency by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Peter McVerry Trust;
the recent statement by the Jesuit Centre For Faith and Justice that ‘As we mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we need to recognise that housing deprivation is one of the most serious forms of poverty in the Ireland of today and that in recent years the housing system has become the locus of some of the deepest inequality evident in our society…the Jesuit Centre is calling for a new direction for housing policy in Ireland, one based on recognising that housing is a fundamental human right’; and
that a legislative precedent for declaring a national emergency exists in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts of 2009, 2013 and 2015;
affirms that during the current Emergency in housing and homelessness the State is entitled to delimit by law the exercise of private property rights; and
calls on the Government to bring forward legislation affirming that a national housing emergency exists and, while that housing emergency exists and in order to end that emergency as quickly as possible, the state is enabled to bring forward measures which, in the public interest, impinge on private property rights in matters relating to housing provision in accordance with Articles 43.2.1° and 43.2.2° of the Constitution of Ireland in the matter of the exercise of private property rights.” — Seamus Healy


Due to it’s refusal to legislate for a housing emergency , government was able to hide behind the undiluted protection  of private prtoperty rights in constitution to justify shocking provisions in the Planning and Development(Housing) and Residential Tenancies Bill 2016. Not alone did government vote down the formal declaration of a housing emergency proposed by Seamus Healy in an amendment, it enacted the shocking provisions.

It placed an astounding provision in Irish Law though  Minister Coveney publicly admitted that a national housing emergency exists. A company or individual selling more than 10 rental properties is entitled by law to terminate all tenancies if vacant possession would result in an increase of 20% in the sale price!!! Such a provision is totally inappropriate in a civilised society. If the vendor has only ten or less properties all tenancies can be terminated unconditionally in a sale!!!. The amendment suggested by Focus Ireland to the Residential Tenancies Bill, which Seamus proposed, provided that tenancies could not be terminated for sale purposes if the property had been purchased as a buy-to-let property. This was opposed and defeated by government on the grounds that it violated the protection of private property rights in the constitution and was not proportional !!!!! The tenants can be evicted into homelessness!!!!

Get your TD to help stop this savagery by suppoting the private members motion to be proposed by Seamus Healy TD today Tuesday!


Why have we not Had A Demonstration of 100,000 To The Dáil to Change Government Housing Policy??

Over 30 TDS Voted FOR The Formal Declaration By Dail Eireann o a Housing Emergency to enable evictions and termination of Tenancies to be halted by Law.
THE ENTIRE LEFT and SINN Fein Are Doing Something Wro
Why have we not Had A Demonstration of 100,000 To The Dáil to Change Government Housing Policy??

World Homeless Day-Protest outside Dail Tuesday October 10

Child Homelessness in Ireland has risen above 3000 for first time!

Budget Day, Tuesday ,October 10, is World Homeless Day



Government Housing Policy Continues–House Prices Rising TWICE AS FAST as a Year Ago

Co Tipperary: Price of 3 Bed Semi-D Increases faster than national average of 3.1% over last 3 months – REA Average House Price Survey

Price of House in Tipp 147,500E    Sept 17

Price of House in Tipp 141,691E   June 17

Increase=5,809 in 3 months=4.1%

Or an average increase of 447E per week  Newsdesk
  September 25 2017 7:03 AM

The average three bed semi-detached house nationally has risen by 3.1pc to €221,843 from215,713 since June, as the housing crisis continues to grow.  6130/13=471.5 perweek

This means that the average price for a home is jumping by €500 every week.

Overall, the average house price across the country has risen by 11.2pc over the past 12 months.

The three-bed semis – which are the most common type of family home in Ireland – are now increasing in price at a rate of almost twice as fast as they were 12 months ago.e hits nMeanwhile in Dublin the average price of a three-bed semi-detached home has jumped in value by €17,000 in the three months to the end of September, and now costs an average of €431,500.

The 4.1pc rise over the last quarter means that prices in the capital’s postcode areas have increased by 15.6pc over the past year, with properties selling in an average of four weeks after hitting the market, according to the third quarter REA Average House Price Survey


Time for a One-Day General Strike on Housing-Seamus Healy TD

Listen Live To Seamus’ Dail Speech

Ictu wants Government to declare national housing emergency

Sarah Bardon,  Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 00:01

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) will on Wednesday call on the Government to declare a national emergency on housing.

In a new policy paper, Ictu strongly criticises the Government for failing to tackle the housing crisis, and calls for initiatives to be introduced in Budget 2018.

A sharp increase in the output of social housing to a rate of at least 10,000 per annum by late 2018 or early 2019, the introduction of a 6 per cent vacant site levy and the use of compulsory purchase orders are some of the proposals made by the Ictu.

In its housing policy document it says the key priority for the State is to avoid reliance on the private sector, and increase the build of social housing dramatically. The local authorities, it says, should drive the building with the financial assistance of the State.

The focus initially should be on the five areas of greatest social housing need – Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.

The paper, seen by The Irish Times, reads: “It should be clearly understood that this target should only be pursued as part of an integrated strategy of well-planned, mixed-income housing, with an equal third going to social, affordable rental and affordable purchase housing provided by local authorities.

Weak public services

“We do not want a return to the large-scale, poorly planned estates located on the outskirts of major urban areas with few facilities and weak public services.

“Social housing must be provided in the context of new spatial and environmental plans at local authority and regional level that address transport, water, waste and social services’ needs.”

The unions stress the failure to invest in housing will cost the State in the long-term, and will make Ireland unattractive to external investment.

The Ictu says compulsory purchase orders should be used to acquire vacant land and homes, while a vacant site levy should be brought forward for introduction in 2018 at a rate of 6 per cent. It insists all monies generated from such a system should be ring-fenced for homelessness services.

The paper says the issue has affected every person in the country, and requires a multi-dimensional approach involving a significantly enhanced role for local authorities

Human suffering

“Given the extent of human suffering caused by this public policy failure, as well as the economic damage it is doing, the housing situation should be treated as an emergency. This is not a matter of choice, but an absolute necessity.”

Greater flexibility from Europe is also required to allow for off-balance sheet investments, it adds.

The Ictu has also called for the abolishment of the first-time buyer scheme, claiming it is a wasteful use of public money that is increasing house prices to the benefit of the seller.

The money, it says, should be allocated to local authorities, and used to expand housing supply and thereby reduce price increases for first-time buyers.

Meanwhile, the Dáil will on Wednesday discuss a proposal by People Before Profit/Solidarity to have a referendum to insert the right to housing into the Constitution and to delimit private property rights.


Fake Housing Summit Fails to Formally Declare a National Housing Emergency as Central Bank Predicts Increase in Evictions and Repossessions as Vultures Sell Off and Prepare to Leave

Murphy’s social housing plan ‘falls far short’-Irish Examiner, 09/09/2017

Plans to increase the number of social houses being built “fall far short” of what is required to address the escalating crisis, a key homeless charity has claimed.

Focus Ireland said the meeting had produced some positive proposals, but had failed to live up to the expectations created by the decision to bill it as a summit.

Focus Ireland director of advocacy, Mike Allen, said the proposals announced were “dominated by managing the emergency rather than tackling the problem”.

Mr Allen said the plans failed to address areas that the organisation had identified as crucial, including a vacant homes tax, legislative action to stop evictions from buy-to-let properties, and increases in housing assistance payments to match rent hikes.



“Government must now step in and declare a national housing emergency and  act accordingly.

We abandoned the housing market to private developers and let profit

become the key driver of housing provision.

The market has failed.

Given that this is an emergency, compulsory purchase orders must be utilised

as a matter of urgency to ensure available serviced land is put to good use,

while the introduction the vacant site levy should be brought forward

from January 2019.”


ICTU Made A Similar Call in Early July Through Secretary General, Patrocia King . Government totally ignored the ICTU call. When will ICTU  actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?


Government Failure on Homelessness Due to Putting Property Rights Ahead of the Interests of Tenants –Focus Ireland

Irish Times   Sat, Sept 2, 2017

Charities involved in helping homeless families have criticised the Minister for Housing for claiming “ideology” does not play a role in the housing crisis.

Focus Ireland Advocacy Manager Roughan MacNamara told The Irish Times: “We’re never going to tackle this problem if we don’t reduce the flow of people coming into homelessness.

“There is a failure to understand how critical that obvious point is that you need to cut the numbers coming in and not just look at the emergency measures when they’re homeless.

This is a question of ideology. It’s putting property rights ahead of the rights of tenants.”

The housing charity criticised the Government for voting down the so-called Focus Ireland anti-homelessness amendment late last year which called for an end to evictions of tenants in buy-to-let properties that were being sold or repossessed.


Surge in Homeless In July 2017

Mike Allen, head of advocacy with Focus Ireland, described the increased homeless figures “shocking” .

He said 99 families had presented as newly homeless in Dublin in July, a record high for the past 18 months. “The reduced inflow we had been seeing at the end of 2016 and earlier this year has gone entirely and we are back to rising inflow figures.”

The number of homeless children in all forms of emergency accommodation in Dublin during the week July 24th-30th was 2,423 in 1,178 families an increase of 153 children and an increase of 63 families in 1 month

Irish Times Kitty Holland   Sept 1, 2017


Launch of #MyNameis , a Campaign by Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) to Highlight the 2,895 Children who are without a Home in Ireland today

“We are facing into this crisis that’s escalating, the potential scenario of up to 6,000 children being homeless in Dublin Alone by 2020.”-Dr Rory Hearne, TASC

A home repossession “guillotine is on the way down”, dwarfing the current homeless crisis and creating a huge catastrophe.  David Hall (IMHO)

‘An entire Croke Park of people could end up homeless’

Joyce Fegan , Irish Examiner, Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A home repossession “guillotine is on the way down”, dwarfing the current homeless crisis and creating a huge catastrophe.

That is according to the CEO of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation (IMHO), David Hall, based on a recent discussion he had with a major bank.

“We think we have a problem at the moment, for those of us dealing with people who are in mortgage arrears, there are 33,000 families in arrears of more than two years,” said Mr Hall.

“There are 15,000 people in long-term arrears in buy-to-let properties. Each of those represents, depending whatever statistical analysis you want to do, three-and-a-half bodies.

“That’s an entire Croke Park of people that will dwarf this housing crisis and turn it into a complete catastrophe.”

David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation says there are 33,000 families in arrears of more than two years.

He was speaking at the launch of #MyNameis yesterday, a campaign by Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) to highlight the 2,895 children who are without a home in Ireland today.“The problem now is the ECB [European Central Bank] is saying: ‘Eighteen months, lads [to clear loan books].’“I met one of the major banks two weeks ago and I said to him: ‘I’m aware the guillotine is going to drop in 18 months,’ and he interrupted me and said: ‘Forget about 18 months’ time, David. The guillotine is on the way down.’

“And that will mean fast and furious loan sales of family homes to protect the balance sheet of their portfolios and there is a small, tiny window of maybe 12 months [to address this].”

Also speaking yesterday was economist Rory Hearne, who recently co-authored Investing in the Right to a Home: Housing, HAPs [housing assistant payments] and Hubs. He said 3,000 housing units could be built within 12 months.

Rory Hearne: 3,000 homes could be built on State-owned land in 12 months ‘if the will was there and the capital funding was allocated’.

“The most recent study that was done by the Government’s housing management group found that there were 730 hectares of State-owned land ready for building to launch a programme of construction,” said Mr Hearne.

“That includes a significant amount of land in Dublin’s inner city. The public land is sitting there.

“They could build two to 3,000 housing units within 12 months if the will was there and the capital funding was allocated to it. That is the solution that is there otherwise we are facing into this crisis that’s escalating, the potential scenario of up to 6,000 children being homeless in Dublin by 2020.”

During the research for his paper on housing, Mr Hearne spoke to a number of families already living in emergency accommodation and detailed the impact it has on children and parents.

“We saw directly the impact on children of being homeless and you can see, over time, the deterioration,” said Mr Hearne. “It’s basic things. It’s going to school in the morning knowing they don’t have a home to go back to. It’s basic things like watching the worry and stress in their parents not being able to
access a home.

“Different parents told us that their child was asking: ‘When are we going to go home?’ And the parents having to say: ‘Well this is our home for the moment.’ ”

Anthony Flynn, CEO of ICHH, said he has visited the hubs that homeless families are now being placed in as an emergency accommodation measure instead of hotels and B&Bs, and said they are run like direct provision centres.

Anthony Flynn, left, and Michael Caul at the launch of #MyNameIs, a social media campaign to highlight homelessness. Picture: Gareth Chaney Collins

“The hubs are being portrayed as the answer to the housing crisis and they’re not,” said Mr Flynn.

“It’s basically direct provision. You eat at this time, you drink at that time, and you go to bed at that time.

“Let’s inspect the units that they’re not showing us that we have families in. They’re unacceptable. You’ve urine-soaked mattresses, blood-stained mattresses. You’ve shower units that have sewage coming back up into the basins. We’ve got photographs.”

The #MyNameis campaign got underway yesterday with posters of homeless children’s faces going up right around the country.

The campaign was initiated after reports emerged of three children, aged six, nine, and 11, being given sleeping bags in the capital this summer when no emergency accommodation was available.

The organisers are asking people to use the hashtag #MyNameis on social media to start conversations about homelessness, to lobby councillors, TDs or prospective political candidates on the issue, and to get people to reflect on their skill or trade to see if they can volunteer an hour of their time to help an organisation in their area.


Rents at all time high, supply all time low –

“Housing Catastrophe coming down the road”- Fr McVerry  Interview on Radio

“For example Cerberus is to repossess 2,900 dwellings-77 court cases already taken in 2017

Only 75 local authority houses built in entire state last year.

 Government must make it illegal for banks or landlords to evict people into homelessness—Acquire property for social housing by compulsory purchase order if necessary

Some landlords are keeping property vacant so that they can sell it at a profit in a few years time, that is not acceptable. Government policy has failed.”


Rents at all time high, supply all time low –

As Governments Protects Big Landlords and the Super-Rich and FG-Ind Alliance-FF-Greens Oppose Formal Declaration of a Housing Emergency

RTE News  Tuesday, 22 Aug 2017 01:59

The average monthly rent nationwide in the second quarter of this year was €1,159, up 12%.

Average rental prices reached a new record high during the first six months of this year, while supply is at an all-time low.

That’s according to the latest rental report by property website,

€1,159 – that’s the average monthly rent nationwide in the second quarter of this year, up 12%. says this is the fifth quarter in a row a new all-time high has been set.

In Dublin, the increase in rents in the year to June was over 12%.

That means rents in the capital are up €260 a month since their previous peak in 2008.

Elsewhere, rents rose by 6.8% in Cork, while in Galway the average rent is €732 – 10% higher than a year previously.

At €525, Leitrim is the county with the cheapest average monthly rent.

The property website also says that there were just under 3,000 properties available to rent nationwide on August 1 – the lowest number they have ever recorded.

In its response to the latest figures, the Peter McVerry Trust has urged the Government to fund the building of affordable rental housing.

The national housing and homeless charity says the rising cost of rent is the main source of new homeless cases.

Focus Ireland has said the Government review of Rebuilding Ireland must include immediate action to ease the rental crisis and to get more vacant homes back into the housing stock.

Reacting to the latest Daft report, the Labour party’s spokesperson on Housing, Jan O’Sullivan, said it shows the absolute failure of the Government’s Rent Pressure Zone model to slow the pace of increases in the rental market.


Census Shows 765 Children Under 4 among  Almost 7000 Homeless !

Barnardos, Fr McVerry Support Call For FORMAL DECLARATION OF NATIONAL HOUSING  EMERGENCY Made By Seamus Healy TD In Dáil over 6 months ago 

People Facing  Homelessness Should Know:

Those who opposed the Amendment of Seamus Healy TD to the Housing Bill Declaring a National Housing Emergency are responsible

GOVERNMENT DEFEATED Amendment Calling For Formal Declaration of a National Housing Emergency with Support of Independent Alliance ,Labour Party and the Greens.  Fianna Fail and Rural Independents ABSTAINED



Housing Minister Coveney explained to the Dáil that he was advised by Attorney General Mara Whelan that due to the protection of private property clause in the Irish  Constitution the imposition on private property owners had to be “proportional”.

Accordingly he insisted that the property owner could evict tenants on sale of the property  unless the  the number of dwellings  being sold exceeded ten dwellings. The  landlord could also insist on the tenant leaving if the sale price with vacant possession exceeded the sale price with a continuing tenant by more than 20%

Seamus Healy TD pointed out that the protection of private property in the Constitution is not absolute but is subject to the public good. Accordingly the declaration of a national housing emergency would enable   all tenants to be protected. The government had already declared a national financial emergency which enabled private property in pensions to be confiscated. But it was refusing to make a similar declaration in the matter of housing which would enable tenants to keep a roof over their heads

Amendment to Housing Bill to Prevent Evictions by Seamus Healy TD

Deputy Seamus Healy: I move amendment No. 53:

In page 38, between lines 2 and 3, to insert the following:

“29. Dáil Éireann formally declares that a housing emergency exists in the State and while this emergency continues the right of any person to remain in the dwelling in which the person currently resides will take precedence over any property right of any other person—

(a) accordingly no court or other authority shall order the removal of the current occupant of a dwelling, or by its decisions enable such removal notwithstanding the provisions of any Act currently in force including the provisions of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013,

(b) the housing emergency declared in this section can only be terminated by a vote of Dáil Éireann, and the Government, including any Minister of the Government, are precluded from annulling the housing emergency without approval in such a vote,

(c) in view of the housing emergency declared here, the power of any Minister of Government to raise the market value threshold of €75,000 for single or multiple dwellings for consideration of possession of dwellings cases by the Circuit Court by activating or commencing sections of existing Acts without approval by a vote of Dáil Éireann, is cancelled.”.

I will speak particularly to amendments Nos. 53 and 80. The former concerns the declaration of a housing emergency; the latter is the Focus Ireland amendment regarding buy-to-let properties and the eviction of tenants on the sale of such properties.

The Government proposals in the Bill will mean that tenants in buy-to-let properties being sold by landlords will have to leave the property if the landlord can get at least 20% more in the sale price with vacant possession than with continuing tenants. At a time of a huge lack of housing, it is lawful under the Bill to evict a tenant in order that the landlord can secure 20% extra on a sale, which is outrageous. It is cruel and anti-human. Focus Ireland tells us that a third of homeless people have had to leave buy-to-let properties on the sale of those properties. Children in these cases must go to a hotel, temporary accommodation, hostel accommodation or other unsuitable accommodation in order that a landlord can make more money from a sale. This situation is dealt with in other jurisdictions to the effect that on the sale of a property by a landlord, the tenancy continues. We simply must ensure that such a measure is adopted here and that tenants are treated reasonably, fairly and respectfully and that they are not thrown out on the road when buy-to-let landlords sell properties. There are already 2,500 children and 6,800 adults who are homeless. We are adding to these figures and we simply must stop that.

This is all in the context of the Government itself evicting householders and families through the banks it owns, namely, AIB, PTSB and EBS. In response to a question asked at a recent Oireachtas finance committee meeting, a representative of AIB said 2,879 court hearings relating to owner-occupied mortgage debt were in progress at the end of June of this year and 767 orders for possession had been granted. This has been widely reported in the press and was dealt with at the committee. We own Allied Irish Banks. The Minister can instruct the bank not to continue with repossessions. Such repossessions are adding to our housing crisis and emergency.

This year is the 100th anniversary of 1916. The first Dáil in 1919 proclaimed:

We declare in the words of the Irish Republican Proclamation the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies to be indefeasible, and in the language of our first President. Pádraíg Mac Phiarais, we declare that the Nation’s sovereignty extends not only to all men and women of the Nation, but to all its material possessions, the Nation’s soil and all its resources, all the wealth and all the wealth-producing processes within the Nation, and with him we reaffirm that all right to private property must be subordinated to the public right and welfare.

The 1916 Proclamation reads, “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.”

We have an absolute housing emergency. The Minister has acknowledged this on numerous occasions. However, he and his Government refuse to have such an emergency declared in Dáil Éireann. They are prepared to declare a financial emergency and have done so and extended that emergency in June to ensure cuts to the pay and pensions of public service workers but they refuse to declare an emergency to ensure that families have roofs over their heads, that evictions are stopped and that we have rent certainty and security of tenure. Unfortunately, not alone will the Bill before us not help the situation, but it will make matters worse. It is a pretence. As I said earlier, tenants can be removed from buy-to-let properties in the circumstances I have outlined. We need to stop this. We need to support the Focus Ireland amendment to ensure that tenants, on the sale of these buy-to-let properties by landlords, remain in their properties and that we do not add to the already very difficult and traumatic situation faced by families and children.

The declaration of a housing emergency by this Dáil is absolutely necessary to ensure we can deal with the housing emergency and to ensure the right to a roof over one’s head takes priority over private property. Everything else in the Bill and the many other suggestions, such as the rent strategy, are all very fine but they do not deal fundamentally with the problem we have. The declaration of a housing emergency is required to stop, as I said, the evictions, to ensure rent certainty and rent control and to build local authority houses.

This Government and previous Governments have refused to build local authority houses since about 2002. They privatised the local authority housing. Local authorities have not been allowed to build houses since about 2002. I think 75 houses were built last year. In the 1970s, we built up to 10,000 local authority houses every year. We simply must get back to this level of building because there are huge numbers of families out there who will never be able to buy their own home. Because of the manner in which families now get on local authority lists – or maybe do not – a very significant section of the population neither qualifies for a loan or a mortgage nor to get on the local authority list. They are caught in the middle with absolutely no support whatever. They cannot rub two euro together. They exist, unfortunately, from hand to mouth. I meet them every day of the week, as I am sure many, if not all, Deputies meet similar people. They are caught in a situation in which they neither have a mortgage nor are they on a local authority housing list. The income limit for local authority housing lists has been slashed, as has the number of local authority mortgages and bank mortgages given out to people who are effectively working but who are the working poor. These people find themselves paying astronomical and extortionate rents in many cases. I came across a case recently in which a landlord had increased the rent from €560 per month to €750 per month, and that is not the only case. Rents are simply unaffordable for everybody, but particularly for this category of people who do not even qualify for the HAP scheme, as bad as the HAP scheme is.

Deputy Catherine Connolly TD and Barrister:

Catherine Connolly:  “I agree with Deputy Seamus Healy on the need for the Government to declare a national emergency. He has asked for it as have I and other Dáil colleagues. Although there is a national housing emergency, the Government has not declared it.”

VOTE ON CALL FOR DEClaration of Housing Emergency

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 34; Staon, 24; Níl, 59.

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Tellers: Tá, Deputies Seamus Healy and Ruth Coppinger; Níl, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin.

Amendment declared lost.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 34; Staon, 24; Níl, 59.

Tá  Independent Seamus Healy,Rural Independent Michael Collins, Sinn Féin,AAA, PBP,Independents 4 Change

Formal Abstention, Fianna Fail

Against     LABOUR, INDEPENDENT ALLIANCE (Including Finian McGrath), Rural Independent Michael Fitmaurice, Indepenent Michael Lowry, Fine Gael

Missing : Rural Independent Mattie McGrath,Independent Dr Harty,  D Healy Rae, M Healy Rae, John Halligan (Independent alliance),Some FF and FG Deputies also missing


Seamus has officially complained to Ceann Chomhairle that the Minister made no attempt to answer the specific questions asked and has sought that the Minister be instructed to answer the questions asked-Paddy


DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy)
by Deputy Seamus Healy
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 12/07/2017

To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning; Community and Local Government his views on a media report by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied)

Interview With Patricia King on Morning Ireland!rii=b9%5F21197014%5F48%5F04%2D07%2D2017%5F

Will he agree that “We now have a housing emergency and that the Market system has failed and is entirely dysfunctional in housing and that Local authorities should be immediately funded to build social housing with State and Local authority Lands being used to build social housing only That enough of the 200,000 voids identified in Census to solve the crisis should be taken over quite quickly, using Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) where necessary; That 3.5 billion from AIB share sale should not be used to pay down debt but to build social housing-there are over 90,000 families on housing lists; That we do have a choice , That we must tell Financial Europe-“We do need to write down the debt but you have to wait-our housing needs come first”” and Will He and his government IMPLEMENT The Actions Advocated by The ICTU General Secretary; Interview With Patricia King on Morning Ireland!rii=b9%5F21197014%5F48%5F04%2D07%2D2017%5F


This Government recognises the housing access and affordability pressures faced by many households, particularly in certain parts of the country. It is for this reason that the overarching objective of  the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness is to increase the supply of new homes to 25,000 per annum by 2020 and, in particular, to boost the supply of high quality social and affordable homes, to buy or rent, as quickly as possible, in areas where demand is greatest.

With particular regard to the needs of those on the social housing waiting lists, Rebuilding Ireland set a target of delivering 47,000 social housing units through build, refurbishment, acquisition and leasing over the period to 2021, alongside an accelerated roll-out of the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme to some 80,000 households.

This activity is being supported through a significantly increased investment programme of €5.35 billion, comprising €4.5 billion in capital funding and €844 million in support of programmes funded from current expenditure.  A further €226 million is provided for the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund for investment in key enabling infrastructure to open up lands for early development.

While still at an early stage of implementation, there is already strong evidence that the focus on increasing and accelerating housing supply in Rebuilding Ireland is yielding results.  In terms of social housing, in 2016, the housing needs of over 19,000 households were met through a range of social housing programmes, supported by expenditure of over €935 million.  A further €1.3 billion has been provided in 2017 to support the accelerated delivery of social housing and the achievement of the 2017 target to meet the housing needs of over 21,000 households.

In terms of housing more broadly, a suite of measures have been put in place to make housing construction viable at more affordable price points, including the €226m Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund; leveraging the value of State-owned lands to deliver a more affordable rental offering in Rent Pressure Zones; streamlined planning systems for housing developments; and other planning reforms to provide flexibility to deliver viable housing schemes and apartment developments in the right locations.  In addition, analysis of vacant dwellings data from the Census 2016 provides strong evidence for targeted policies to maximise the number of vacant properties that can be brought back into use, especially in our cities and large towns where demand is greatest.

While we are coming from a low base, all recent key indicators show that the house-building sector is continuing to gather strength and pace. Planning permissions for 17,934 new homes were granted in the twelve-month period to end March 2017, representing a 39% increase year on year. Commencement Notices for 15,579 new homes nationwide were submitted in the twelve-month period to end May 2017, a 42% increase year on year. ESB connections for the twelve-month period to end May 2017 reached 16,340 across the country, showing a 19% increase year on year.  Furthermore, the recently published RTB Rent Index shows a significant moderation in the rate of rent increases, with rents virtually flat during the first quarter of 2017.

While this is encouraging, considerable further progress is needed and we will continue to closely monitor trends in that regard. In addition, a focused review of Rebuilding Ireland is now underway, targeted for completion in September. The aim of the review is to build on the significant progress already being made, strengthen the measures in place and identify additional measures to underpin further momentum in the months and years ahead.





Limerick families facing eviction as fund seeks to sell off city apartments



Nick Rabbitts

Limerick Leader 20 Apr 2017

esidents Alex Grigorjeus, Alan McCarthy and Ryan Mowat with Cllr Gilligan

UP to 14 families are facing eviction from their homes in Limerick city as their new landlord seeks to sell on the apartments.

Residents in a number of two bed apartments at Fishermans Quay at the Grove Island woke up on Good Friday morning to notices informing them they had to leave their homes on various dates throughout the summer.

The letters sent on behalf of their landlord, Munster Pensioner Trustees Ltd, state that due to the fact they intend selling the property, the current tenants must “vacate and give up possession of the dwelling”.

The Leader understands the pension fund purchased the properties earlier this year.

Residents have pledged to fight to stay in their homes and have gained the support of local Independent councillor John Gilligan, who said that while the landlord’s action is legal, “it’s almost certainly immoral”.

Alan McCarthy, who lives with his only son Daniel, 19, in one of the apartments, said once he received the termination notice he “couldn’t stop being sick”.

“My whole life has been turned upside down. I had just come back from walking on the Canal Bank and a poor swan had hit the wire. I had to dive him to save him from drowning. I thought I had my good deed done for the day. But no good deed goes unpunished apparently,” he said.

Alan – who pays rent of €550 a month – added: “I think it’s all about money. Someone is trying to make a fast buck at our expense”.

The Property Price Register, the national database of all residential sales, currently lists two apartments as sold at Fishermans Quay. One sold for €111,000, the other for €89,300, both in the last month.

A number of other apartments in the complex are on the market from €100,000, while a unit there was recently listed for rent at €900 per month.

Alan also criticised the timing of the letter, adding: “It just suggests a total lack of any heart. I’m not particularly religious, but on Good Friday – come on! That’s not particularly nice.”

The letter was dated Thursday, April 13, but Alan says he received it the following morning.

Ryan Mowat, 20, has lived in the complex for five years with his father Andy.

He said: “We were shocked, and taken aback. We’ve been living here the last five years and have never been happier.

“To get a letter telling us to pack up and go – because we don’t want you – is not right.”

Cllr Gilligan condemned the letters, saying: “These people will have no place to go. These people have the indignity of being kicked out on the side of the road.

“These are hard working decent families who should not be treated like this. Nobody should accept this kind of treatment by a faceless individual.”

Munster Pensioner Trustees Ltd – which has an address in Castletroy – referred queries from the Leader onto the management firm in the area Kersten Mehl Property Management.

Mr Mehl said: “We have managed this complex for the last eight years. I received instructions to issue these notices on a number of two bedroom apartments, as the landlord wished to sell them.”

While local residents claim 14 apartments are subject to these notices, Mr Mehl said that number is closer to eight.


Categories: Uncategorized

European Economic and Political Crisis

April 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Growing Chinese Investment in Africa an Element of Developing EU Economic and Politicl Crisis


French Professor Makes Case for European Empire complete with European Army   to Compete with USA, Russia, China

Zaki   Laidi: Europe at “War” on 3 Fronts

Zaki Laïdi is professor of international relations at Sciences Po, Paris.

Irish Examiner, Tuesday, December 17, 2019

“For the first time since 1957, three major powers — the US, China, and Russia — have an interest in weakening Europe. They squeeze the EU in different ways, but they all share a hostility to its governance model.”……..e

Rather, Europe needs the determination and political will to develop new commercial, diplomatic, and military strategic assets. In a world of sabre-rattling and muscle-flexing, effective modesty is preferable to vacuous ambition.”….

“But Europe still needs to develop its monetary, industrial, and military capacity.” 

The US, China, and Russia all resent the EU’s sharing of sovereignty among its states and want to undermine it. The EU must bolster its military to protect its liberal ideals, says Zaki Laïdi.

For the first time since 1957, three major powers — the US, China, and Russia — have an interest in weakening Europe. They squeeze the EU in different ways, but they all share a hostility to its governance model.lume is 100%volume is gedemptvolume is 100%volume is gedempt

The European model, after all, is based on shared sovereignty among states (in crucial areas such as market standards and trade). That liberal idea is antithetical to the American, Chinese, and Russian view of sovereignty, which places the prerogative of states above global rules and norms of behaviour.

Shared sovereignty is possible only among liberal states; unalloyed sovereignty is the preserve of populists and authoritarians. But today’s anti-EU hostility also owes something to Europe’s undeniable economic weight.

Without the EU, the US, under its president, Donald Trump, would likely have succeeded already in forcing Germany and France to surrender to its trade demands. Were it on its own, France would not have been able to reject bilateral negotiations with the US over agricultural issues. The EU, as a ‘common front’, works as a power multiplier for its constituent parts in all areas where sovereignty is shared.

China’s view of Europe is not so different from Trump’s. While the Chinese have taken advantage of the European single market, by acquiring footholds in key EU countries, the last thing they want is for Europeans to share sovereignty in controlling foreign investment, such as through the new screening mechanism launched in April.

China has been cultivating financial dependencies in the Balkans, knowing full well that if these countries become EU members, they will be subject to stronger transparency requirements.

China would much prefer the model underpinning the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), its massive effort to build trade and transport infrastructure linking China with Africa and Europe. How China and participating countries finance BRI projects is notoriously opaque. In fact, more than half of all Chinese loans to developing countries are not even listed publicly.

Russia, too, resents European unity. Although some EU member states oppose continued sanctions against Russia, all have respected them. Still, Europe is hardly a monolithic bloc in dealing with Russia.

Despite Europe’s energy-independence aims, Germany is co-operating with Russia in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. For a while, Germany also stood in the way of a firmer EU policy vis-à-vis China, owing to the German auto industry’s reliance on the Chinese market. However, Germany’s position has changed since 2017, with its leaders finally taking stock of the risks posed by Chinese takeovers in sensitive industrial sectors.

The frequent claim that Europe is incapable of playing a global role is thus simply incorrect. Compared to a more isolated developed country, such as Japan, Europe is quite strong indeed. While Japan has been at the mercy of US tariffs on imported steel, the EU has retaliated in kind.

And while Japan has had little choice but to accept a bilateral trade deal with the US (“in principle”), Europe has stonewalled the Trump administration’s attempts to overhaul the US-EU trade arrangement.

To be sure, the EU is still a long way from achieving strategic and economic autonomy. But that does not mean it is incapable of doing so. Europe has many assets with which to defend multilateralism and international norms.

Given its creativity and massive market, it could play a critical role in setting the standards for digitalisation and artificial intelligence, both of which are at the heart of today’s global economic battle.

Lest one forget, it was Europe that took the first step in regulating the platform economy, through the General Data Protection Regulation, which has already set a new world standard.

But Europe still needs to develop its monetary, industrial, and military capacity. The EU must expand the international role of the euro, so that it can serve as a safe asset and a standard currency for cross-border trade. Internationalising the euro will require a deep capital market, comparable to that of the US, and there is already a consensus among eurozone member states in favour of heading in this direction.

Establishing the euro as a safe asset — that is, making a Eurobond equivalent to a US Treasury bill — is more controversial. Germany is staunchly opposed to any proposal that implies risk-sharing across the eurozone. But if foreign investors are not confident that the European Central Bank will defend the value of the euro in any eurozone country, they will never see the single currency as a rival to the dollar.

On the second point, Europe needs to create its own industrial ‘champions’. That will require a deepening of the internal market, which remains far too fragmented with respect to services.

It also may call for a reconsideration of EU competition rules. Following EU anti-trust authorities’ decision to block a number of large mergers this year — not least that between Alstom and Siemens — there is a growing debate within Europe about how competition policies can be improved.

Finally, Europe desperately needs to build up its military capacity to lend credibility to its exercise of commercial and soft power. For example, a new European protection force deployed in the Strait of Hormuz would signal to both the US and Iran that Europe can defend its own interests, without having to take sides against its allies. The capacity to project power is a fundamental source of global clout.

Europe does not need a ‘grand strategy’, which is a pompous term that fails to account for local and global constraints.

Rather, it needs the determination and political will to develop new commercial, diplomatic, and military strategic assets. In a world of sabre-rattling and muscle-flexing, effective modesty is preferable to vacuous ambition.

Zaki Laïdi is professor of international relations at Sciences Po, Paris.


———————————————————–Predictions of Return to European Hegemony and World Dominance are Wildly Inaccurate

With the rise of China and and an introspective US, the continent faces an uncertain future and a vassal status writes Slawomir Sierakowski.

Until recently, Europe could have hoped to be a partner for the US. But that now appears increasingly unlikely — not only because of US President Donald Trump’s America-first instincts, but also as a result of the EU’s own failings. In the face of a rising China, European passivity is no less problematic than Trump’s unpredictability.”

Slawomir Sierakowski, founder of the Krytyka Polityczna movement, is director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw and Senior Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations.

Irish Examiner, Thursday, December 19, 2019

With the rise of China and and an introspective US, the continent faces an uncertain future and a vassal status writes Slawomir Sierakowski.

IN 2004, the American economist Jeremy Rifkin wrote a bestselling book, The European Dream, in which he proclaimed that the 21st century would belong to Europe — and even would depend on it. In Rifkin’s view, a Europe held together by the idea of “unity in diversity” would be the most effective answer to globalisation.

Europe was supposed to represent a new “global awareness” and “freedom from the slavery of materialism,” which would be “replaced by empathy”.

We all know how that turned out. The materialistic United States, which Rifkin expected to be eclipsed by Europe, was better able to weather the financial crisis. Brexit, the crises in Greece and Catalonia, and the implosion of liberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe have highlighted the shortcomings of unity in diversity.

And European societies’ hostile reaction to the wave of migrants fleeing wars and hunger demonstrated that empathy has failed to overcome materialism.

The error was not Europe’s, but Rifkin’s. Europe was not, and is not, bound to succeed. In fact, as 2019 comes to a close, the European Union is seemingly helpless and resigned in the face of its most important challenges: Completing the economic and political integration of the bloc, creating a common defence policy, and even safeguarding basic standards of the rule of law.

Poland’s government, for example, is responding to a European Court of Justice decision regarding violations of judicial independence by introducing legislation that would allow the country’s judges to be removed for criticising violations of the Polish constitution. When leaders of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party proclaim that “this caste must be disciplined”, what can the EU do?

Rifkin’s analysis does not focus much on China, whose emergence as a global leader is displacing not the United States, but Europe. China is now the world’s largest exporter, and, as the biggest producer of electric cars, it may soon overtake Germany to becomethe global leader in the automobile industry.

America’s position as the world’s leading military, financial, and innovation power is not threatened for now.

The US withstood previous challenges from Germany and Japan in each of those areas, and very likely will resist China’s competitive threat, too. But Europe very likely will not.

In fact, we are witnessing a great reversal of roles between Europe and China compared to the 19th century. For China, the 1800s were the “age of humiliation”, a period when it was infiltrated by the French, British, and German empires, as well as by Russia and the US. These foreign powers imposed humiliating trade treaties, subordinated and exploited China economically, and controlled it politically.

Today, the EU increasingly resembles 19th-century China: A still-rich empire that cannot be occupied by others, but is weak enough to be infiltrated and exploited. China, meanwhile, has assumed Europe’s former role, with its companies and investors increasingly penetrating the European economy and extending their influence.

Chinese investors are buying Europe’s best factories (including the pearl of German robotics, KUKA) and its largest ports (including Duisburg in Germany, the world’s largest inland port, and Piraeus in Greece). They are signing unequal economic agreements and gradually conquering the EU, beginning with the weakest links, namely Eastern and Southern Europe – and, in particular, Hungary, Greece, and Portugal.

Worse, there is no reaction from Brussels. There is a rickety plan to build European industrial champions, but it is being blocked by the fear of violating EU competition rules.

In addition, European leaders’ silence on questions of human rights is deafening. While Hong Kong’s citizens protest, and the US Congress passes legislation threatening possible sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials for human-rights abuses, Europe puffs itself up and “calls on both sides to refrain from aggression”.

Europe can only watch from the sidelines, because it has no arguments to make. Transatlantic unity is disappearing, and nothing new is emerging in its place. Even cooperation among European intelligence services is a sham: journalists knew who murdered a former Chechen rebel commander in Berlin’s Tiergarten park in August before Germany’s politicians did.

If this stagnation continues, the only question is whether Europe will become the satellite of the US or of China. And, ultimately, that will be decided outside the EU. If isolationism wins out in America, Europe will become a Chinese satellite. And if the US maintains a confrontational stance vis-à-vis China, Europe will remain dependent on America.

Until recently, Europe could have hoped to be a partner for the US. But that now appears increasingly unlikely — not only because of US President Donald Trump’s America-first instincts, but also as a result of the EU’s own failings. In the face of a rising China, European passivity is no less problematic than Trump’s unpredictability.

Slawomir Sierakowski, founder of the Krytyka Polityczna movement, is director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw and Senior Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations.



———————————————————————Europe’s New Look Executive Eyes Geopolitical Actions

By Daniel Gros   ,Irish Examiner,  Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The EU’s policy toolkit is not well suited for exercising power abroad, writes Daniel Gros

Daniel Gros is director of the Centre for European Policy Studies

Many in Europe fear that by China providing cheap finance for infrastructure projects across a wide range of countries, including some EU member states, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is gradually encroaching on the continent’s periphery. But, again, one must ask whether this challenge justifies setting aside good-governance principles.

With former German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen assuming the presidency of the European Commission, the EU now has a new executive. Von der Leyen has promised to lead a “geopolitical” commission,believing that Europe needs to be more assertive in its relations with other countries, and more hard-nosed in pursuing its own interests around the world, particularly vis-à-vis the other large powers.

Because the EU lacks an army or a central secret service, it must use economic policies to achieve its geopolitical aims. But the way Europe’s policy toolkit works in practice suggests it is not well suited for exercising power abroad.

Learn moreThe EU’s most important policy tool is trade, which is one of the few areas where the bloc acts as one. The EU has traditionally run its trade policy along conventional commercial lines, with the goal of maximizing market access for European exporters and protecting certain domestic sectors (particularly agriculture). Could this policy be tweaked for geopolitical purposes?

A closer look at concrete examples suggests not. After all, the EU should be opening its markets to agricultural imports from Northern Africa, to foster growth in that struggling region and stanch the flow of economic migrants into Europe. But opposition from Italian, Spanish, and other olive growers has blocked this option.

Similarly, the EU has long favoured imports of bananas from key countries (mostly former colonies) that it wants to keep within its orbit. But such a policy makes little economic sense — why restrict imports of bananas from countries that can produce them more cheaply? — and violates World Trade Organisation rules.

As these and many other real-world examples show, bending commercial principles for geopolitical aims simply is not compatible with a rules-based multilateral trading system, not to mention the WTO’s principle of “non-discrimination”.

In fact, subordinating trade policy to a broader geopolitical agenda would require the EU to disregard the very principles that it has repeatedly pledged to uphold and defend. Another area for the potential (mis)use of economic levers concerns Europe’s “near abroad”.READ MORE

Many in Europe fear that by providing cheap finance for infrastructure projects across a wide range of countries, including some EU member states, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is gradually encroaching on the continent’s periphery. But, again, one must ask whether this challenge justifies setting aside good-governance principles.

Consider the case of the Balkans, where the EU itself supports many construction projects. Each of these projects undergoes rigorous cost-benefit analysis, and in a mountainous region with weak local economies, the cost of building roads or railways is high.

Proposals for new superhighways to connect relatively small population centers may have the support of local politicians, but they simply do not make economic sense. As such, the EU’s financing institutions — the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development — generally counsel against such projects.

By contrast, the Chinese have proven more than willing to build “highways to nowhere”.

If the EU followed suit and started financing white elephants in the Balkans in order to keep those countries close by its side, whatever goodwill such projects initially generated would evaporate as soon as the costs of maintaining them and servicing their debts came due. Many countries that have signed up to the BRI can already attest to this.

Moreover, one must remember that better connectivity in goods, services, capital, and people along the EU periphery is not always synonymous with faster local growth. By strengthening agglomeration effects, deeper economic integration can reinforce the tendency of talented, more educated people to leave their home country for opportunities elsewhere.

The one area where the EU could feasibly leverage economic means for geopolitical ends is development aid. The EU is the world’s fourth-largest aid donor and its member states collectively spend three times more on aid, accounting for over half of the OECD’s official development assistance.

The countries that receive the bulk of this assistance — Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Somalia — also tend to be the sources of the most migrants. The EU thus has a vital interest in helping these countries prosper.

Corruption and economic mismanagement, not a lack of aid funds, are holding these countries back. So, while Europe could channel official development assistance to a few favoured countries in a bid for influence, it would risk propping up corrupt elites who have done nothing to foster development.

Meanwhile, EU money could have a significant positive impact in other countries with less geopolitical importance. If these countries miss out on funds they otherwise would have received, EU development assistance will have become less effective.

In economic terms, the EU is still of a comparable size to China or the US, which is why it is tempting to think that its economic strength could be parlayed into geopolitical power. The EU would have to abandon some of its core principles to go down this road. Would it really be worth it?

Daniel Gros is director of the Centre for European Policy Studies.Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019

————————————————————-Growing Chinese Investment in Africa an Element of Developing EU Economic and Politicl Crisis

Table 1: M&A and Greenfield FDI into Africa

M&A (mn USD) Greenfield FDI Inflow (mn USD)
2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018
United States -3,085 5,674 -1,405 3,640 3,347 10,275
China 2,932 1,248 554 36,144 8,705 11,930
European Union 1,016 -7,227 1,483 11,864 21,674 25,462

Source: UNCTAD

M&A =Mergers and Acquisitions

China pledges $60 billion in aid and loans to Africa, no … › world › 2018/09/03

Debttrap Diplomacy and Africa’s Economy

China’s lending to African countries is part of a large-scale overseas investment boom forming part of the country’s quest to become an economic superpower.

Debt-trap Diplomacy and Africa’s Economy

China is a major stakeholder in Africa’s economy with a significant influence on many aspects of the continent’s affairs.[34] Recently, African countries have rapidly increased their borrowing from China.[34] According to research conducted as part of the Jubilee Debt Campaign in October 2018,[35] African countries owed China US$10 billion in 2010 increasing to over $30 billion by 2016.[35] China’s lending to African countries is part of a large-scale overseas investment boom forming part of the country’s quest to become an economic superpower.[36] The top five countries in Africa with the largest current Chinese debt, are Angola ($25 billion), Ethiopia ($13.5 billion), Kenya ($7.9 billion), the Republic of Congo ($7.3 billion), and North Sudan ($6.4 billion).[37]


Growing debt to China positively affects Africa’s economy via much-needed developments in infrastructure.[38] The main types of infrastructure that these debts improve include roads, railways and ports.[38] Improved infrastructure favors internal trade, healthcare and education systems.[38] One such example of infrastructure development is the The Merowe Dam Project in Sudan. This is set to more than double the power development in Sudan, which is currently severely lacking.[38]

According to the World Economic Forum, internal trade is the greatest opportunity for realizing Africa’s economic growth potential.[39] Furthermore, infant mortality rates in Africa have been reduced (falling from 740 to 410 deaths per 100,000 births) as a larger proportion of the population now has access to medical care as the result of infrastructure development.[40] Liberia, Rwanda, Malawi, and Madagascar are four countries that experienced a some of the greatest decreases, over 60%, in infant mortality in a period of time from 1990-2011.[41] Although, this pace of infant mortality progress is still very slow everywhere apart from Eritrea, according to UNICEF.[42]

In the 2015 and 2017 records of World Bank, Africa owes large sums of debt not only from China but also from other lenders.[43] Africa’s debts from multilateral lenders amount to 35%, 32% from private lenders, about 20% from China and around 13% from various other governments.[43] Higher interest rates of about 55% from the private sectors prompted Africa to go to China for loans, which is around only 17%.[43] Also, the debts owed of the African countries from China are allocated for investments on sectors needing critical development and growth and not just for consumption.[44] China in exchange just demands payment in the form of jobs, and natural resources.[44] In economic theory and practice, any country can borrow from another country to finance its economic development.[44]  However, it is not always easy to find someone who will lend money even for logical reasons. The global competition on which country is best to invest money in is in fact, a country’s sign of financial strength, which is why Africa does not consider the relationship as a debt-trap.[44]


In the past decade, China has increased its investment relationship with African countries.[45] In 2014, China created a program known as African Human Resources Development Fund (AHRDF), which has helped to train over 10,000 Africans in various professional fields.[46] Improving the education of Africans has helped a large proportion of the African population acquire entrepreneurial skills and employ themselves, which in turn benefits the Chinese businesses that have been built in Africa.[46] China is able to ensure this educational training and decrease the unemployment rate by inviting Africans to Chinese Universities with scholarship options.[47] Unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa has dropped from 7.88% in 2002 to 6.09% in 2018.[48] While this educational growth continues to incur debt for the African country, however, is balanced by the fact that people are able to work to produce goods to send back to China – thus lessening the debt.[47]

Furthermore, China has made investments into African human resource development programs. This can be seen in various programs that have been developed since 2010, including the China–Africa Science and Technology Partnership Plan, China–Africa joint research and exchange plan, and the China–Africa partnership to address climate change.[49] Human resource development has also been seen in agriculture and technology, where teams from China continue to go into African countries each year to further their training in these ever-changing fields.[49] While these debts to China do increase with these human resource development exchanges, it has also helped reduce the rates of unemployment in African countries, because many on the continent who have been trained through these programs seek employment in infrastructural development projects in their countries.[46]

Economic PerilsEdit

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a multi-billion-dollar expansion project of China, with the aim of expanding its power all around the world through lending countries to spur its economic growth.[45] BRI is also sometimes called “Chinese Marshall Plan”. The BRI project was launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping with the goal of improving the infrastructure of countries around Europe, Africa, and Asia in exchange of gaining global trade opportunities and economic advantage.[45] The plan consists of spearheading and investing on 60 projects around the world.[50] The initial expected cost of the BRI is over $1tn, and actual costs are even higher.[50] The risks involved for countries are unexpectedly high. In recent news, many countries in the BRI project have started rethinking the perils of the projects and the fact that most have repayment issues.[50] Jonathan Hillman, director of the Reconnecting Asia project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington believes that there is more to these projects than just mere financial strategy, he stated “It’s also a vehicle for China to write new rules, establish institutions that reflect Chinese interests, and reshape ‘soft’ infrastructure.”[50]

The negative effects of Chinese financial loans to Africa’s economy include fear of losing local companies to those Chinese with strong buying powers.[45] Debt from China has also promoted illicit trade among China and African countries.[50] Such imports are cheap because of China’s cheap labor and are thus preferred for locally manufactured goods. Examples of cheap imports from China include clothes and electronics. Trade between African countries and China has also affected ties between African countries and other continents, especially Europe and North America. According to Brautigam, Chinese loans are prone to misuses and have promoted the levels of corruption and fight for power in African countries.[45]

Over four fifths of China’s investments are spent on infrastructure projects in underdeveloped and developing countries.[50] Forecasts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) show that economic growth rate of China will fall to around 6.2%, which is around 0.4% from 2018 of 6.6%.[46] The reason for the possible decline is the increasing trade disputes of China and US. Another is the sudden increase of debts in the past decade, which was used to fuel infrastructure programs.[50] Africa fears the slow growth of China, as this may result to impending government infrastructure projects.


——————————————————————–As Macron Falls Behind The French Fascists, European Economic and Political Crisis Deepens

“Marine Le Pen’s National Rally has overtaken the centrist party of Emmanuel Macron, the French president, for the first time, according to an opinion poll released Sunday, in a further sign of the rise of the far-Right in Europe…
the French president’s approval ratings have plunged to 21 per cent amid rising discontent over his failure to fulfil his election pledges to slash unemployment, boost growth and cut taxes.”

French far-right overtakes Macron in EU parliament election poll

The party of French far-Right leader Marine Le Pen has overtaken the president’s in European Parliament voting intentions CREDIT:  ANGELO CARCONI/ANSA

  • David Chazan, Daily Telegraph  paris, 4 NOVEMBER 2018

Marine Le Pen’s National Rally has overtaken the centrist party of Emmanuel Macron, the French president, for the first time, according to an opinion poll released Sunday, in a further sign of the rise of the far-Right in Europe.

The Ifop poll measured voting intentions for European Parliament elections next May, seen as a decisive battle between pro-EU liberals and Eurosceptic populists that could be pivotal in shaping the future of the European Union after Brexit.

Liberals championed by Mr Macron are attempting to fend off a rising anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic wave led by Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, and Matteo Salvini, Italy’s influential deputy prime minister.

The poll showed Ms Le Pen’s party, formerly known as the Front National, with 21 per cent of voting intentions compared to 19 per cent for Mr Macron’s La Republique En Marche (LREM) party.

Together with the seven per cent of people planning to vote for a smaller far-Right party, Stand Up France, and two per cent going for two small “Frexit” parties, the French far-Right has won 30 per cent of voting intentions, a five-point gain since August, according to the poll.



Daily Express

We’ll KNEEL no longer!’ Italy-EU clash BOILS over as Salvini dismisses ‘THREAT’ letter

ITALY Interior Minister Matteo Salvini hit back at the European Union for “threatening” the country to change its 2019 budget proposal, urging Italians to take to the streets to signal Rome “will kneel no longer”

By Aurora Bosotti, Daily Express  Nov 1

The Italian Deputy Prime Minister dismissed calls from the EU for “clarifications” on Italy‘s new budget proposal.

Matteo Salvini lashed out at Brussels, calling on Italians to march down the streets on December 8 to signal their unity and support for their ministers’ economic policy. Addressing citizens with a live video on his Facebook page, the Lega leader said: “Mothers, fathers and children telling those Brussels misters ‘let us work, let us live’.

“We have a right to work, a right to health, a right to education, a right to a pension. In Brussels they have nothing else to do but send us disapproving letters, threatening letters, telling us to change our budget plan, not to change our pension law. Telling us not to reduce taxation but to actually add more.”


Following the Brexit Referendum and the commencement of the Article 50 process of Britain leaving the EU, Europe now faces a presidential election followed by a General Election a year later.

FRANCE -THE CHOICE by Michael Roberts

It’s only a week to go before the first round of the French presidential election and it seems that the race is wide open.  Only two candidates can take part in the second round in May.  But who will those two be?  Extreme right-wing Front National candidate Marine Le Pen has been the front runner in the polls over the last year, but her support has been slipping.  Ex-socialist minister and centrist darling of the bourgeois media, Emmanuel Macron is neck and neck with Le Pen, both at around 22-23%.  The official conservative (Republican) candidate Francois Fillon should be ahead, but he has been damaged by the expenses scandal of his wife and children getting huge government-funded salaries for parliamentary work which they did not do.  Even so, Fillon is getting about 18-19% share of those saying they will vote.  The big surprise in the last few weeks had been the rise of Leftist candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, whose polling has leapt from 10-11% to around 19% now.  In so doing, the official Socialist party candidate, Benoit Hamon, has seen his vote slump to 6-7%.

It is still most likely that it will be Le Pen and Macron in the second round, with Macron more than likely to win the presidency by some distance over Le Pen.  But all combinations are possible, with the worst for French capital being a battle between leftist Eurosceptic, anti-NATO Melenchon and racist Eurosceptic Le Pen.

Back in February I analysed the state of the French economy, the second-largest in mainland Europe and one of top ten capitalist economies globally.  The profitability of French capital is at a post-war low (profitability is still down a staggering 22% since the peak just before the global financial crash in 2007), real GDP growth is only just over 1% a year, well below that of Germany.  The unemployment rate remains stuck close to 10% compared to just 3.9% in Germany.  Youth unemployment is 24%. Business investment has stagnated in the ‘recovery’ since 2009.

Because of the actions of the French labour movement, inequalities of income and wealth have not risen as much as in other G7 countries like the US and the UK in the last 30 years.

Neoliberal policies have been less effective in getting profitability up and workers down under the thumb of capital.  French capital needs a president that can and will do this now.  Can it find one?

If we look at the programs of each candidate, we can see it is Francois Fillon who offers the best programme for the interests of French capital.  Fillon aims to end the key gain of the French labour movement, the official 35-week, often firmly enforced.  Under Fillon, workers would have to put in 39 hours before overtime or time-off in lieu is paid.  Fillon would slash the public sector workforce by 500,000 (or 10%), while increasing the working week for those who keep their jobs.  The retirement age would be raised to 65 from 62 now and everybody would have to work to that age or face pension loss.  Unemployment benefits would be cut.

Severe fiscal austerity would be imposed with a cut in public sector spending from the (astronomically high for capitalism) 57% of GDP to 50%, with a ‘balanced budget’. The cuts would be necessary because Fillon wants to cut corporate tax rates to 25% and other ‘burdens’ on the business sector, while raising VAT for purchases by French households by 2% pts.  He would scrap the current wealth tax on the rich. One area of extra spending would be more police and more prisons, while reducing gay rights.

This is an outright neo-liberal program that no French president has been able to impose successfully in the last 30 years.  But French capital demands it.  Unfortunately, for big business, Fillon is unlikely to make the presidency.

But what of Macron, the ex-banker and socialist minister, the man most likely to get into the Elysee Palace (the French White House)?  Macron’s program is a mix that attempts to appeal to labour and capital, as though they could be reconciled.  He wants to merge public and private pension and benefit schemes.  He claims that he will get the unemployment rate down to 7% through an investment plan.  And yet he plans to cut public sector spending and run a tight budget.

Like Fillon, he would cut corporate tax for businesses to 25% of declared profits.  He keeps the 35-hour week, but companies would be allowed to ‘negotiate’ a longer week.  Low-wage earners would be exempted from certain social welfare levies, a measure that would put an extra month’s wage per year in the employee’s pocket (but no clarity on how this would be paid for, except through ‘higher growth’).  He too would boost police and prisons but also provide a ‘payment for culture’ to students and reduce school class sizes.  He would cut the number of MPs and reduce time for re-election of officials, while banning Fillon-type payments to family members. This programme is thus a mix of help to business and wishful thinking for labour.  But it seems to appeal to just enough voters over the neoliberal alternative of Fillon.

Both Fillon and Macron are pro-EU and pro-euro.  This is the one big policy difference with Le Pen and Melenchon.  Le Pen’s program is a mixture of racist, anti-immigrant, anti-EU policies alongside pro-labour measures for the public sector and wages.  Le Pen would ‘re-negotiate’ the EU treaty with the rest of the EU and if that failed, call a referendum on leaving the EU within six months.  If French voters decided to stay in the EU, she would resign the presidency.  If they voted to leave, France would end the euro as its currency and re-introduce the franc.  Such a policy would be shattering for the French economy and probably sound the death-knell of the EU and the euro as we know it.

Le Pen would get on with ending immigration, strip many French muslims of citizenship, revoke international trade treaties and NATO operations and confine free education to French citizens only.  Companies employing foreigners would pay an extra 10% tax and foreign imports would be subject to a 3% tax.  And, of course, the police forces would be expanded.

Like the Brexiters in the UK referendum, she claims that she can cut taxes on average households and raise welfare benefits by saving money on EU membership and regulations (that has turned out to be a myth in the UK, where austerity has increased).  The number of MPS would be halved.

But Le Pen also aims to help (small) business with lower taxes.  And instead of raising the retirement age, as Fillon proposes, she would cut it to 60 years, increase benefits to the old and to children, while keeping the working week at 35 hours and overtime tax-free!

Le Pen’s economic policy is thus anathema to French capital and attractive to French labour, but combined with racist and nationalist measures.  But, of course, there is no real attack on the hegemony of French big business.  So this policy of raising wages and benefits while leaving the euro and introducing protectionism, in an economic world of low growth and a possible new economic slump, is utopian. Neither the needs of labour nor capital will be met.

When we turn to Melenchon, we see a similar utopianism, if from the perspective of defending the interests of labour over capital.  His economic program is similar to that of Corbyn’s Labour in the UK, if going further.  He proposes a 100-billion-euro economic stimulus plan funded by government borrowing and some nationalisation in sectors such as the motorway network.  He says he would raise public spending by 275 billion euros to fund the plan, to raise minimum and public sector wages, create jobs to reduce the unemployment rate to 6% and also, like Le Pen, cut the retirement age to 60.

This extra spending would, Keynesian-like, fund itself from higher economic growth and employment.  But with big business needing profits to invest, calling for more taxes on business (as well as the rich), may deliver the opposite of faster growth.  At the same time, he too would cut corporate tax rates to 25%!

Melenchon would also renegotiate the EU treaties, ignore the EU fiscal austerity pact, call for a devaluation of the euro, take national control of the Banque de France from the ECB and leave NATO and the IMF.  And following Le Pen, if these measures are blocked, he would have a referendum on EU membership.

Melenchon’s program is similar to that of socialist Francois Mitterand (although somewhat less radical than Mitterand’s) when the latter won the presidency in 1981.  He too wanted to take France on an independent line from the rest of Europe in expanding the economy through public spending, nationalisation and more taxes on business and the rich.  That program fell down in face of the deep global slump in 1980-2, when financial investors fled France and the franc.  The choice then was for Mitterand to go the whole hog and take control from French capital or capitulate to neoliberal policies.  He chose the latter with his so-called “tournant de la rigueur” (austerity turn) in 1983.  That choice would soon face Melenchon, in the unlikely event that he won the presidency.

Apart from the economic utopianism of Le Pen and Melenchon under capitalism, they both face an immediate political problem.  In June, the French vote for a new National Assembly, which, at least right now, would probably elect a majority of conservative pro-capital, pro-EU MPs who would be backed by a media campaign from big business, the EU Commission and other EU governments aiming to shackle the new president.  The battle would be on from day one, while the euro and French financial assets reel from the shock.

But it probably won’t happen.

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April 15, 2017 Leave a comment

I, Paddy Healy, was not a member of the ICG, but I used to get the Magazine Irish Communist. I Joined the IWG in London in 1967 at the urging of the late Liam Boyle, my former school friend in Clonmel CBS. The ICG had split into the Trotskyist IWG led by Gerry Lawless and the hard line Stalinist Irish Communist Organisation led by Brendan Clifford. It was, of course Gerry Lawless who was advised to count to ten by Daltún et al before replying to Clifford at meetings. Eamonn McCann also joined the IWG at about the same time as myself (Gerry Lawless was very critical of Eamonn’s practice of wearing flowers in his hair!!! ) The Phil Flynn is the same one who became General Secretary of IMPACT(then LGPSU) and President of ICTU.

While Ted Grant(Leader of what became known as English Militant and nowadays SP) was assisting Lawless and Daltun in the fight with Clifford, the ICG was not linked to Militant. Grant was atrocious on the Irish National Question.

Daltún and Lawless would speak at Hyde Park corner every Sunday while myself and the younger members would sell the monthly newspaper, Irish Militant (The first place Irish Miliant was sold in Ireland was in Clonmel by Sean Boyle (Brother of Liam Boyle)

Some years later after we had set up a branch of IWG in Dublin, the IWG split into Lawless and Sean Mathgamhna  led groups. The Dublin Branch and the Clonmel membes went with Mathgamhna Group. Later the Iriasdh members including myself set up the League for a Workers Republic.

Of course I had my political differeces with Gerry Lawless but I learned much from him.
Throughout the sixties through the Irish Militant monthly paper and private conversations he constantly warned that the activites of Roy Johnstone , Tony Coughlan, Cathal Goulding and the Connolly Association in the Repulican movement would lead to disarming the IRA. This wasn’t due to any personal animosity but because he understood from his Trotskyist background that the then Kremlin policy of “the Peaceful Road to Socialism” would have disastrous effects in Ireland unlike in England. He was right! Unfortunately many senior republicans did not listen. This led to a situation in which nationalist working class areas were left defenceless against Loyalist and RUC pograms in the early seventies. This lead to a split in the IRA and Sinn Féin.

But some repulicans learned lessons. As a result there was very good relations between the new (provisional) repulican leadership and the League for a Workers Republic for several years. This collaboration led to a very effective strike movement in the 26-counties during the H-Block campaign.

Liam Daltun’s Letter To Sean Matgamna Of Events In The Irish Communist Group In 1965 | The Cedar Lounge Revolution

Liam Daltun’s letter to Sean Matgamna of events in the Irish Communist Group in 1965. | irishrepublicanmarxisthistoryproject

Liam Daltun’s letter to Sean Matgamna of events in the Irish Communist Group in 1965.

The Irish Republican & Marxist History Project would like to thank Sean Matgamnaa for this Liam Daltun letter that deals with events in the Irish Communist Group in 1965, an important episode in the history of the Irish left. The ICG that was set up in 1964 and was renamed the Irish Workers’ Group in 1966. Matgamna introduction to Daltun’s letter below                                                                

258 Liverpool Road, Islington, London N1. 19 August 1965.

Dear Sean,

Sorry I didn’t get around to writing to you earlier. I’ve been very busy since I last saw you. Today is the first day I’ve been able to take off work. Until next Sunday week at least I’ll be devoting myself to reading and swotting up on the ideas, history, etc., of the Marxist and Stalinist movements. It’s not a lot of time, but it’s about all I’ll be able to afford.

Philip Flynn, Gerry Lawless, and myself met Ted Grant last Sunday and we had a discussion in the course of this week. Ted is preparing some material, quotations, etc., for a reply to the Theses on Trotskyism. We’ll meet again next Saturday morning at WIR and have a discussion which we’ll tape-record. (I bought two tapes for Arthur Deane’s recorder today. They give over six hours playing time for £2-5-0). From this and other material we’ll prepare our statement on Stalinism.

I went to Clapham Common today and brought a lot of stuff from G Healy’s New Park Publications – mainly pamphlets. I also got Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Spain by Felix Morrow. I gave Peter Taaffe the money for Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution. This is possibly the most important – have you got it? – since the Appendix to Volume 3 contains just about all that is required in the matter of quotations from the Bolshevik leaders on the central question in dispute.

I’m re-reading The Revolution Betrayed at the moment. It’s seven years since I last read it, I’m ashamed to say: at that time I wouldn’t have absorbed this kind of thing at all as well as I would now. Peter Taaffe’s lent me The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution, by Harold Isaacs. When I’ve got through all this stuff, plus anything else of relevance I can get round to, I should feel a bit more stoked up on the theoretical ideas and history.

You’ll probably be wondering what’s happened since you returned to Manchester. Here’s what. As I said, we met Ted Grant. With him and later among ourselves we worked out our attitude and tactics for the weekly meeting. We insisted on Gerry making a conscious effort to control himself, even if Brendan Clifford attempted to provoke him to raise a shout. (“Count ten before speaking, etc.”)

On membership: Mick Murphy moved that Philip Flynn be removed from full membership and placed on the list of Associate Members (expulsion of a sort). Flynn defended himself in a very good speech and remained a full member by 8 votes to six with a few abstentions (against were P Murphy, Brendan and Angela Clifford, M Murphy, and two others).

Nan, my wife, who was formerly a full member but went on the associate list because she couldn’t always attend meetings, applied for full membership again. This was opposed by the four above-named. They said she would have to do a probationary six weeks again. Of course she’s been doing a hell of a lot of typing, stencil-cutting, etc., all the time – for example, she did half of last month’s Solas. She became a full member by ten votes to six.

There was consternation of a kind as you can imagine at this kind of thing. Then two probationary members’ names were presented for acceptance – Pat Mallin and William Glenn. The latter is English, from the North of England, and a pro-Chinese Stalinist. He joined the ICG because it was “the only functioning Marxist-Leninist group in London”.

He was taken aback slightly to find unanimity on his own and P Mallin’s acceptance. (These were, I think, the only two unanimous votes of the night!)

P Mallin you’ll meet later, no doubt. Politically he’s a bit Stone Age. Became disenchanted with Stalinism when it rejected Joe [Stalin]; suspects any revolutionary organisation that doesn’t pay its respects to his memory. To say he abhors Trotsky is to put it mildly.

I enclose a copy of a motion which was dealt with. (I don’t think you’ve seen this?) We had decided to oppose it, seeing in it an attempt to take the coming discussion on vital questions out of the group – or to raise it over the headers of the members.

Apart from B Clifford’s slighting references to “this little Trotsky matter which has to be cleared up”, it is clear that he and his immediate supporters do not want Stalinism demolished in front of the members. It will become all to clear to them (the members) that standing as he does (like Desmond Greaves) on Stalinist “theoretical” positions, it is only to be expected that he should say that socialism, socialist propaganda, etc., are inopportune at the present stage in Ireland (as Greaves does). Thus making himself an anti-revisionist revisionist!

Unfortunately, this motion was carried after a discussion that was interrupted by comings and going – these latter, delaying as they did the vote, and causing a new, somewhat neutral, member to withdraw an amendment (which would have been voted on first, and more than likely carried), helped get the motion through. I intend putting a motion next Sunday which will I hope get the support of the majority and destroy this manoeuvre.

By the way, I’d like to know what you think of the motion.

If you’ve got anything already on paper relevant to our reply to the Theses on Trotskyism, would you post it on to me? After Saturday’s meeting with Ted we’ll draft our reply, stencil it and run it off. All this will have to be done by next Wednesday at the latest, as the vote comes up on the fifth (5th) of September.

Just one more thing. Some people (including Pat Murphy, believe it or not) are asking where the Trotskyists get their funds from. (“The State Department spends a lot of money on anti-communist organisations”, etc. etc.) This is now the level. Myths die slowly, eh?

Keep in touch, Sean. I hope this is legible, not too difficult to read.

Yours, Liam Daltun.

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