Letters to the Editor: ‘Create two housing markets to protect the home-buyer’


Letters to the Editor: ‘Create two housing markets to protect the home-buyer’

Charlie Weston's article (Irish Independent, April 20) correctly draws attention to the inevitable commodification of the housing sector. (Stock photo)
Charlie Weston’s article (Irish Independent, April 20) correctly draws attention to the inevitable commodification of the housing sector. (Stock photo)

Charlie Weston’s article (Irish Independent, April 20) correctly draws attention to the inevitable commodification of the housing sector.

This poses a serious threat to social stability, the healthy and reasonable expectation of home ownership for Irish citizens. Such an expectation is a cornerstone of giving citizens a stake in the welfare of our economy and is a real flag of solidarity for a progressive economy and society.

Without it we deepen the divides of what is fast becoming a very polarised country.

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Might I suggest all Government decisions be health-checked against the importance of valuing a stable society where everyone has a sense of being a shareholder in our country.

Rather than just identifying the objective, can I also put forward a radical proposition which might affect the outcome: decouple the housing market into owner-occupied and investment property; housing should be registered from planning proposal in either sector; existing housing should be registered by current status.

All owner-occupied properties will be restricted to sale to home-owner purchasers – to transfer from one market to another would incur a levy and each market would have a differential tax regime to encourage the delivery of supply in appropriate locations. This should insulate those in the market for a home to purchase from competing with speculative buyers. It could also afford us an opportunity to incentivise housing delivery for the rental market in optimal locations.

Is it too far a stretch to require commercial developers to deliver a certain proportion of housing to support the business quarter in sufficient numbers that reduces rent costs for young workers in preparation for house purchase? After all, didn’t Cadbury, Guinness and countless other large employers of the previous centuries do exactly this?

Suzanne Doyle

Tully, Co Kildare

We need a zero-tolerance approach to these cowards

The bombings across Sri Lanka have achieved nothing for the extremist but solidified the view of every right-thinking person that violence begets violence and achieves nothing in the end.

We have seen this in Northern Ireland during the Troubles where thousands were killed and maimed by bomb and bullet.

It is nothing more than hatred of others who don’t agree with their twisted thinking, taking innocent lives to further their aims.

While we mourn the loss of Lyra McKee, we need to show our antipathy towards them by ostracising them from our communities.

It is high time we took a zero-tolerance approach to those who wish to subvert and destroy our lives by their cowardly actions.

Christy Galligan

Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Rage against the (increasing absence of the) machines

There was a time when people worried about whether they had sufficient funds in their account when making a withdrawal from an ATM. Now the worry is whether there are going to be sufficient machines.

Jim Griffiths

Clonsilla, Dublin 15

Nuns deserve appreciation not our denunciation

I am weary of hyperbolic denunciations of Catholic homes, Catholic brainwashing and so on. I wish the writers had lived in these dark ages and had courageously contributed to remedy these wrongs – fat chance.

It so easy to be brave when your opponent has shrunk to nothing. The mystery of the missing burials is no mystery at all. Every old churchyard in the country is many feet higher than the original level, as graves were opened for the next interment. Previous bones were then replaced on top of the latest coffin – 900 babies could be interred in a very small space using this method. This is what happened, and anyone looking for serried ranks of headstones as in a military cemetery is never going to succeed.

Does anyone want to know the origin of mother and baby homes and what resources were allocated to them? It’s not a secret. They were an improvement on the foundling hospitals where babies abandoned on the street were taken to die.

The mothers were never going to be treated well. It was aversion therapy intended to deter out-of-wedlock babies. Mothers were meant to feel shame. The nuns, as voluntary celibates, must have thought of them as fallen women who needed to be saved.

There were orphanages for children. Some had lost both parents, but more often had just lost their mother in later childbirth and the father could not care for them.

It’s a system which was created by the poverty of the times and was the best that could be done with unpaid nuns and little cash. They deserve appreciation not denunciation.

John Lynch

Model Farm Road, Cork

Irish Independent


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