President Michael D Higgins expressed his anger and frustrations about the ongoing housing crisis in the country after visiting Jigginstown Manor in Kildare on Tuesday. The president gave an impassioned speech at the Tiglin facility in Naas where he described Ireland's ongoing housing crisis as not "a crisis anymore" but "a disaster". He also called it a "great, great, great failure".
As of the end of March 2022, homelessness has risen by 23% since March 2021, with almost 10,000 people experiencing homelessness.
Almost 3,000 of those homeless people are children and it is an issue that the government have failed to tackle and improve since coming into power.
Last month, Daft.ie said there are fewer than 900 properties available for rent in all of Ireland on its website while the price of rent has hit a 5-year high.
Michael D Higgins on the housing crisis
The president said today:
I often ask myself, how republican is what we’ve created? And isn’t it sometimes very much closer to the poor law system that we thought we were departing from.
I have taken as well to speaking ever more frankly in relation to housing because I think it is our great, great, great failure. It isn't a crisis anymore, it is a disaster and we have to really think about meeting the basic needs of people in a republic...
Building homes is what is important, it is not to be a star performer for the speculative sector internationally or anything else."
“Isn’t it much closer to the poor law system that we thought we were departing!”
-Michael D Higgins expresses anger at Ireland’s housing “disaster”
In an impassioned speech today he said:
“it is our great, great, great failure!“ @VirginMediaNews @PresidentIRL pic.twitter.com/e97JWJ9o7r
— Zara King (@ZaraKing) June 14, 2022
The ninth president of the country also spoke about the basic needs that the people of Ireland must have and listed requirements like food, water and shelter.
Michael D Higgins was invited by Tiglin to speak at one of their 7 facilities around the country. Tiglin is an Irish charity which aims to tackle homelessness and addiction through the provision of residential rehabilitation programmes .
Last week, Sinn Féin TD Eoin O'Brion also spoke about the housing crisis and urged Taoiseach Micheál Martin to "stop blaming others" for the issue.
"Stop blaming others for the housing crisis
"Start implementing policies that will deliver the affordable homes that people need.
" Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that heads would have to be knocked together to tackle the housing crisis. He has been Taoiseach for two years. During that time, homelessness has increased, rents and house prices have spiralled upwards, and output of public and private housing has been glacial."
With the numbers of homelessness in Ireland growing every month, Michael D Higgins is undoubtedly correct for his calls on action to be taken.