The Hearne Burn


Last night.

On RTÉ Radio One’s Late Debate, presented by Sarah McInerney.

The panel was: John Paul Phelan, Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform; Dr Rory Hearne, of Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute; Fianna Fail TD for Kildare North James Lawless; Jennifer Bray, Deputy Political Editor of the Times Ireland edition and Emmet Ryan, business and technology reported at the Sunday Business Post.

During an item on housing, Dr Hearne (again) laid out steps he believes would help ease the housing crisis.

He added that the local authorities in Dublin have enough land to build 20,000 houses and, elsewhere across Ireland, local authorities have enough land to build 40,000 houses.

Dr Hearne asked: “Why is that public land not being used to build affordable houses?”

Mr Phelan went on to give updates on the most recent quarter – saying commencements are up 40 per cent, planning applications are up 20 per cent and that planning laws have been changed.

Dr Hearne specifically asked Mr Phelan how many of these new home will be affordable housing for people on an average wage.

After a pause, Mr Phelan responded: “I don’t know.”

Watch back in full here

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21 thoughts on “The Hearne Burn

    1. b

      i liked the bit where he pointed at all the empty land and asked why don’t we just build there?

      he’s so effective

      1. Cian

        But as soon as a builder looks for planning there is a backlash and objections to it. My facebook is full[1] of ‘groups’ objecting to planning.

        – “What do we want?”
        + “houses”
        – “where do we want them?”
        + “um.. not near me”

        [1] when I say full, I really mean that I see one every week or so.

        1. Col

          I’ve started to sign up to residents’ associations’ mailing lists, as it’s a great way to find out about upcoming developments :)

  1. jusayinlike

    James Lawless = useful idiot

    Be very careful with this one, he’s a snake in the grass..

  2. Hallström

    He didn’t know and he said he didn’t know.
    It’s much worse when politicians pretend to have an answer for everything.

    1. Col

      Don’t go onto radio to boast about how well you are doing when you are not doing well and you are not aware of the details.
      The real answer is “we are continuing to fail, but not as badly as before. That is about as much as we are willing to do right now. Vote Fine Gael.”

  3. Leopold Gloom

    But sure anyone can see, and anyone can say there is land for x amount of homes to be built.

    When they are built however, they are so poorly laid out, (ie, estates are mazes that the best orienteerers would struggle to navigate), or have a confusing mix of apartments, “town houses”, Duplexs (should never be the answer), all on top of each other that they’re not worth building in the first place.

    Labour is now expensive again as demand is there, but a lot of the labourers who were around before are not.

    1. Rob_G

      What’s wrong with townhouses and duplexes? If we all wanted to live in semi-Ds with a garden, Dublin will sprawl as far as Cavan.

      1. Leopold Gloom

        No problems with townhouses. Duplexes are just glorified apartments though. Well designed apartment blocks would be better. imo. 3/4 bedrooms, over 2 floors. Communal space on ground floors, storage space between apartments levels (to also help prevent noise from one to another). Lots of natural light, less of these pokey kitchen, dining, sitting room areas.

        I guess it’s just that I rarely see nicely built ones, as I don’t with apartments that appeal to live in.

  4. Ron Dolan

    Let’s all see how many FG ex TD’s get lucrative positions in the construction and property industries after the next GE?

  5. Col

    I HATE these responses:
    “Mr Phelan went on to give updates on the most recent quarter – saying commencements are up 40 per cent, planning applications are up 20 per cent”
    You are comparing yourselves to your performance last year, which clearly failed. It’s ridiculous!!

  6. david

    Meanwhile nothing is being built except homes for the well paid
    And the talk will go on and on and on like the jumbone advert

  7. Iwerzon

    People not qualified nor with any experience of the issues at foot making decisions which literally affect peoples lives. Get them and their special advisers into a studio and grill the whole shower of them over the public airwaves and I bet you something will be done fast to resolve the housing lie.

    1. SOQ

      You make that observation about practically every government department. And, by the time the minister actually knows something about what they are talking about, they are moved on to something else.

  8. Cian

    All councils should raise the property tax to the maximum, and ring-fence that money into building social housing.

    1. david

      Dublin will not be happy with that also the vulture funds who bought up massive amounts of discounted property then given by Noonan seven years to dispose of property with no capital gains tax
      Of course they would of sold it on to another company they owned ,only to find hell the property tax would be extracted from them.
      Not a good day for our new absentee landlords
      Sorry cian the frau will ensure the boys are slapped back in line
      I see massive Porto cabin parks for the working man on disused derelict sites as varadka’s vision for peasants all discretely on the edge of towns

  9. Diddy

    His answer should have been ” I don’t know and I don’t care” All the whole vulchers land aqusitions increase in value as this contrived housing shortage could continues

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