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Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Limerick Housing Situation.

Wednesday, 29 June 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 223 No. 10

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22.

Mr. T. O'Donnell: Information on Thomas G. O'Donnell Zoom on Thomas G. O'Donnell and Mr. Coughlan asked the Minister for Local Government if an inspector from his Department recently visited Limerick city to investigate the housing crisis there; and, if so, if he will state (a) the date of the inspector's visit, (b) the duration of his stay, (c) whom he interviewed, (d) what recommendations [1493] he subsequently made, and (e) what steps the Minister has taken or proposes to take to deal with the housing crisis in Limerick, and its consequent results on skilled and unskilled employment in the building industry.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney No such visit was made by an inspector of my Department. Limerick was, however, visited on 2nd June last by an officer of my Department, in the course of his administrative duties, for the purpose of obtaining additional information in regard to the use by Limerick Corporation of their current capital allocation for house-purchase loans and supplementary grants. It is not the practice to give details of the daily working programme of individual Departmental officers nor to disclose the recommendations made by them in particular matters.

With regard to the alleged crisis in the building industry in Limerick. I am satisfied that, with the full co-operation of all concerned, it should be feasible to maintain a reasonable level of activity in the housing sector on the basis of the Corporation's total housing capital allocation of £770,000 for 1966-67. This allocation represents substantially greater expenditure than their average annual expenditure over the past three years.

As regards local authority housing, the Corporation were informed last March that the question of allocating moneys for new work would be considered in the light of the position obtaining when further tenders are submitted for my approval. As regards house purchase loans, and supplementary grants, I made arrangements last week for a joint discussion to take place tomorrow in Limerick between representatives of the Corporation, the building industry and of my Department to discuss the position further in I will review the position further in due course in the light of the outcome of that meeting.

Mr. Coughlan: Information on Stephen Coughlan Zoom on Stephen Coughlan Will the Minister tell us are the trades groups being invited to this discussion tomorrow and for whose convenience was this meeting called for tomorrow, knowing that this [1494] House is sitting and the public representatives will be here? Will the meeting be public?

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney If by “trade groups” the Deputy means the unions, the answer is “Yes”.

Mr. Coughlan: Information on Stephen Coughlan Zoom on Stephen Coughlan The unions will be represented?

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney They are, at least, being invited. I hope they will be represented.

Mr. Coughlan: Information on Stephen Coughlan Zoom on Stephen Coughlan They were not invited to the last meeting.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney That may have been, but certainly I have given instructions that they will be invited to this meeting.

Mr. Coughlan: Information on Stephen Coughlan Zoom on Stephen Coughlan Whom will it convenience to have this meeting tomorrow at three o'clock?

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney Quite honestly I do not know, but I do not know either that we are inconveniencing anyone in any way.

Mr. Coughlan: Information on Stephen Coughlan Zoom on Stephen Coughlan It means some of us will have to get out of here tomorrow——

Deputies: Good.

Mr. Coughlan: Information on Stephen Coughlan Zoom on Stephen Coughlan ——to try to impress upon your Minister the crisis that exists in Limerick. Will this meeting be public?

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney I should hope the meeting will not be public.

Mr. Coughlan: Information on Stephen Coughlan Zoom on Stephen Coughlan Why?

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney Because of the nature of the meeting. When it is a question of trying to get all concerned in the matter to co-operate, I do not think publicity is likely to be conducive to co-operation.

Mr. Coughlan: Information on Stephen Coughlan Zoom on Stephen Coughlan Of what is the Minister afraid? We have to let the people of Limerick know the crisis in the building trade and it is for that reason we pressed the Minister to send down this inspector.


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