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Letters to the Editor: Another property bubble on the horizon

June 5th, 2021 3:10 PM

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EDITOR –The signs are ominous as each day passes, house prices are on the increase and young couples are being pressurised to go beyond their means just to get a rung on the property ladder.

The craziness is the fact that the department for social housing is now trying to build, when site, labour and land prices are on an upward trend, but then that’s ultimately down to governmental decisions made by Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael and the Greens.

This is a predicament that we should not have found ourselves in because, with a little foresight, it could have been avoided. In fact, it’s an own goal as far as housing is concerned. Remember the great, wise Fine Gael Minister for Finance Michael Noonan – the man who, according to Enda Kenny, was a safe pair of hands? Those same safe pair of hands instructed NAMA, the world’s largest property management and disposal company (at the time), to sell thousands of houses and apartment blocks for peanuts to vulture funds that made millions in profit for the fund investors, without doing a tap.

People must not forget about who was responsible for setting Nama up, and the person appointed to operate it.

Brendan McDonagh an accountant with the ESB, first joined government body NTMA and subsequently was made head of Nama.

He was charged with acquiring €77bn in distressed assets to save the banks from losses which was then heaped onto the backs of the Irish taxpayers.

The result today is that if you spent €831,225 a day, it would take you 954 years and seven months to spend Ireland’s national debt. 

That is the result of our failure to listen to TDs and councillors on the left in Irish politics who were sick, sore and tired continually calling social housing to be left in the control of local councils who could pinpoint where housing was most needed, without needing a range of consultants and advisors to get through the mire of red tape.

The glaring reality for most young families in today’s Ireland is the dream of buying or building your own home will only be a dream because wages cannot (unless you’re in the high-end tech industry) get you to reach the threshold required to get yourself a mortgage, so your only hope is to get on the end of a very long social housing list.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin was in government when people were served eviction notices from the banks that were saved with taxpayers’ money.House loans were sold from under them to vulture funds, ending up paying exorbitant rents to landlord companies with offices in London, Milan and Berlin, who contributed little or no tax to the Irish exchequer.

Did any of the miscreants in charge end up badly off as a result? 

Former Taoisigh Bertie Ahern (leading light of the Celtic Tiger era and Galway tent), and Brian Cowen, are on €150,000-a-year pensions, while the bold Enda is on or around the €130,000.

Michael Noonan is close,on €100,000, and god knows what sort of pension pot Leo and Micheál will take when both of them get the heave-ho.

In the meantime, when the results of Covid-19 and Brexit begin to surface, house repossessions will begin again as Celtic Tiger bubble two’s life span comes to an end.

This is what happens when you don’t learn from history  and you repeat the mistakes of the past – especially when the same political lineage and thinking have made themselves comfortable in their Dail seats. Ignorance of recent history serves many ends – it legitimises the coercion of society as it is arranged at present in order to cover up corruptive wrongdoings.

James Woods,

Gort an Choirce,
Dún na nGall

Minister Donnelly’s silence is deafening

EDITOR – Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly was noticeably absent from the Dáil last week when Holly Cairns TD asked when the review of the Termination of Pregnancy bill would be happening.

Many more of us at home are wondering the same thing.

Our legislation is woefully inadequate and there are many barriers to reproductive healthcare still remaining.

Research tells us that around 400 people a year still travel for care and many who have qualified for care in Ireland have been failed miserably. Where is Minister Donnelly on this? The silence is deafening! Minister, when will the 66.4% of Irish citizens who voted to trust pregnant people to make their own decisions have a date for this review? We want to see a government that is unafraid to face these issues and take the opportunity to fix our weak legislation. We can and should do better.

Lucy Boland,

Dunmanway

Looking for ‘old friends’

EDITOR – I live in Washington State. In 2002/3 I visited Skibbereen and made the acquaintance of Mr Derry Browne.

During the isolation of the last year I have been going through my old travel notes and have been wondering about some of the people I met. At one point I sent some American licence plates to Derry.

I am sorry to have gotten out of contact and would now like to make contact with all those friends again. I remember our conversations fondly. And, most particularly, I remember the friendly folks of Skibbereen, including Kay Ronan and her husband, and Kathleen and Pat O’Donovan, folks who opened their homes to a traveller at Christmas time many years ago.

Skibbereen is a place I hope to visit again soon. I remember talking with the elder folks at Fields over a tea … fond memories.

Life is good and I hope it is there, too. Bit I am just feeling a bit nostalgic for simpler times when the kindness of strangers in Skibbereen found a home in my heart.

Michelle Ballou,

Donovan Ave, Bellingham,

Washington State

Students fit to be tied

EDITOR – We, here, on the Skibbereen Community School Green Schools Committee are concerned about the amount of blue rope and twine we have found on our local beaches during our beach clean-up activities this year.

We realise that local fishers have signed up to the BIM Fishing for Litter Programme, so we do not understand why there is still so much fishing waste material on our beaches.

Junior Green Schools committee,

Skibbereen Community School,

Gortnaclohy,

Skibbereen

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