The reaction today from government TDs to President Higgins’s comments on housing are unjustified according to Patrick Costello TD. The Green Party Justice Spokesperson was speaking following accusations that the President breached the constitutional limitations of his position.
“What President Higgins said yesterday in relation to the condemnation of Government policy on housing is something which resonates with people up and down the country. Today I have seen Government TDs and Ministers attempt to move the goalposts and accuse him of breaking the remit of his constitutional position. This is a blatant attempt to distract attention from the issue at hand and is patently untrue.”
Costello continued, “The role of the President is quite clearly laid out in Bunreacht na hÉireann Article 12. There is nothing in that article which was breached by yesterday’s comments. Quite frankly, if Government Ministers think protocol was broken, I would like to see them publicly come out and say so rather than hiding behind anonymous comments.”
“Figures showing the increasing costs of property and rents have been extremely alarming” concluded Costello, “recent statistics has shown that homeless numbers are now back at the pre-pandemic height of over 10,000. I appreciate efforts being made by local authorities but they, and Minister O’Brien, need to stand up and grab the bull by the horns.”
“The Green Party have long advocated the Cost Rental ‘Vienna Model’. This is currently being piloted in places like Inchicore but needs to be rolled out state-wide as a matter of urgency. If radical action is not taken soon, we will see a mass exodus of our young people.”