Tackling homelessness and the Constitution
Sir, – Seamus Lennon’s riposte of August 23rd to my opinion piece “To tackle homelessness we must amend the Constitution” (August 18th) is a perfect example of why I needed to write it in the first place.
I support all the solutions he outlines and, indeed, the other solutions suggested by contributors to The Irish Times website. However, the issue with each of them is that – sooner or later – they all run into constitutional roadblocks arising from the existing wording and interpretation of Article 43 by the courts. Thus, they are either shelved, interminably delayed or the cost of implementation becomes prohibitive. I have proposed a straightforward amendment to the Constitution that unties the State’s hands in tackling housing, homelessness and rent issues and allows it – as Mr Lennon suggests – to “act aggressively” in implementing the required programmes. I believe there would be popular support for an amendment on these lines. Whether there is the matching political will remains to be seen. – Yours, etc,
Drumree, Co Meath.