When will homeless numbers go down?


Sir, – During an interview on RTÉ on Friday morning the Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, excoriated the Government for the possible use of private building contractors to provide social housing.

He did not mention that it was a Fianna Fáil government, under the late Jack Lynch, that began this process in the 1960s.

They set up the National Building Agency to provide social housing on a national scale and retained private contractors to do the work. An example of this would be the NBA housing schemes in Cork. As a direct result local authorities disbanded their house building sections over time and now no longer have the capacity to build houses by direct labour.

In his interview, Micheál Martin proposed no solution to the present problem that excludes the use of private building contractors. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – When will homeless numbers go down? Might I be allowed suggest that it will happen when we elect a government committed to the constitutional restraints on the acquisition of private property contained in Article 43; that “the principles of social justice ” and “the exigencies of the common good” be paid more than lip-service by those on their knees before the deified invisible hand of market almighty? Or even when we elect a “president” who fulfils his designated role of “presiding” over adherence to that still respected document.

Until then we can resign ourselves to parasitic absentee landlordism and its business-as-usual predations. Our history is riddled with the consequences of appeasing such vicious gilded circles, whose gluttonous collective self-worship was probably best vivisected by Swift 300 years back in his immortal Modest Proposal to tackle an earlier iteration of the hereditary cultural cancer by cannibalising the children of the dispossessed as a more merciful response than the complacent blind eyes turned by those benefiting from the usurping of the public commonwealth.

Therefore the answer to the question about homeless numbers is: not this Easter. – Yours, etc,


Headford, Co Galway.

Sir, – Leo Varadkar is “disturbed and extremely frustrated” at the increase in homelessness. I thought he was the leader of the country? I feel so stupid being so misinformed. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.