Sunday, October 09, 2016

Time to reduce property rights – priest

The Constitution should be amended to soften the right to private property to help local authorities tackle Ireland’s housing shortage, a prominent priest-sociologist has said.

Speaking at the AGM for the County Kildare Centres for the Unemployed, Fr Micheál Mac Gréil SJ acknowledged Ireland’s success in emerging from recession, but described the lack of housing and accommodation in Ireland as “a structural crisis”.


Fr Mac Gréil said the “almost absolute support of the right of private property in Bunreacht Na hÉireann is an impediment to our ability to address the housing structural crisis”, arguing that local authories should be able to municipalise site-land for the provision of public housing.

Praising those working to tackle Ireland’s homelessness crisis, he said their work will not succeed without tackling the structural issue, and called on the government to propose a referendum “to amend Bunreacht na hÉireann to enable us to put the common good before the absolute right to private property”. 

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