The government is about to embark on a major shift in the funding of social housing. Five local authorities are being asked to initiate a public private partnership to deliver 500 homes.

This is the first of three such projects being proposed by Government.

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It is hard to put into words the deep sense of loss that Irish republicans are feeling today.

The untimely passing of Martin McGuinness has left a hole in our political world. Continue reading

The Irish government is about to be hauled to the European Court of Justice for breach of EU water law.

This legal action has nothing to do with water charges or the Water Framework Directive.

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When it comes to Government there are two kinds of political parties.

There are those who accept the status quo. Their policy agenda may involve some proposals for change. But these can be accommodated within the existing order of things.

Then there are those committed to something more profound. Their agenda can not be satisfied within the status quo. They want to replace the existing order of things with something radically different.

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Housing dominated the political agenda in 2016 like never before. Decades of underinvestment and bad policy across all tenures created a dysfunctional housing system.

The recession didn’t just make things worse, it lit the fuse that has resulted in an explosion of housing need.

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Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are in a spin over the Governments controversial first time buyers scheme. With an allocation of just €50m in Budget 2017 this may seem a little surprising. Less so when you consider the weight of opinion opposing the measure.

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Twice this week Minister for Housing Simon Coveney lost his cool. The source of his irritation was an inability to understand why his anaemic housing budget was not being greeted with universal praise.

At his Budget day press conference the normally composed Cork TD was visibly irritated when journalists questioned the wisdom of his so called help to buy scheme.

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