Working in the Community, Working for the Community

Private Members Motion – Declaration of a Housing Emergency

On Tuesday of this week, in the Dáil, Seamus Healy T.D. will call for a declaration of a National Housing Emergency to tackle the housing and homelessness crisis; to stop banks, vulture funds and buy to let landlord from evicting families, to freeze and control rents and to entitle sitting tenants continue tenancy in sale situations.The Debated on the Motion will take place on Tuesday 24thOctober from 8pm -10pm. The detailed Motion is as follows:
Private Members Motion – Seamus Healy T.D.
Declaration of a Housing Emergency
“ That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:
Article 40.3.1° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State guarantees in its laws to respect and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen;
Article 40.3.2° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State shall, in particular, by its laws protect as best it may from unjust attack and, in the case of injustice done, vindicate the life, person, good name, and property rights of every citizen;
Article 43.1.1° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State acknowledges that man, in virtue of his rational being, has the natural right, antecedent to positive law, to the private ownership of external goods;
Article 43.1.2° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State accordingly guarantees to pass no law attempting to abolish the right of private ownership or the general right to transfer, bequeath, and inherit property;
Article 43.2.1° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State recognises, however, that the exercise of the rights mentioned in the foregoing provisions of this Article ought, in civil society, to be regulated by the principles of social justice; and
Article 43.2.2° of the Constitution of Ireland states that the State, accordingly, may as occasion requires delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good;
further notes:
the importance of the provisions that require protection of private property to be regulated by the principles of social justice and, accordingly, that the State may as occasion requires, such as the current housing and homelessness emergency, delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good;
the statement of the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in the Irish Examiner on 11th May, 2016, ‘I think we have a national emergency that needs a response that is comprehensive and so I have been working late hours trying to start the process of putting that response together’;
the call for the declaration of a national housing emergency by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Peter McVerry Trust;
the recent statement by the Jesuit Centre For Faith and Justice that ‘As we mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we need to recognise that housing deprivation is one of the most serious forms of poverty in the Ireland of today and that in recent years the housing system has become the locus of some of the deepest inequality evident in our society…the Jesuit Centre is calling for a new direction for housing policy in Ireland, one based on recognising that housing is a fundamental human right’; and
that a legislative precedent for declaring a national emergency exists in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts of 2009, 2013 and 2015;
affirms that during the current Emergency in housing and homelessness the State is entitled to delimit by law the exercise of private property rights; and
calls on the Government to bring forward legislation affirming that a national housing emergency exists and, while that housing emergency exists and in order to end that emergency as quickly as possible, the state is enabled to bring forward measures which, in the public interest, impinge on private property rights in matters relating to housing provision in accordance with Articles 43.2.1° and 43.2.2° of the Constitution of Ireland in the matter of the exercise of private property rights.” — Seamus Healy

Save Our Acute Hospital Services Press Statement

South Tipperary General Hospital

The Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee welcomes the long awaited approval for the construction of a 40 bed modular inpatient unit at South Tipperary General Hospital announced by the Minister for Health last Friday.

The announcement is the culmination of almost 2 years work and pressure by the Committee, patients and their families, hospital staff, local and Oireachtas public representatives and the general public. The delivery of these beds by June 2018, will require a hugely concentrated effort and commitment and the dovetailing of a number of processes including tendering, planning, building, fitting out and staffing.

In order to drive this project forward, The Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee and Oireachtas Members will be meeting H.S.E. Officials on an ongoing basis, starting the first week of November, to make sure targets are set and met.

These modular beds are, of course, only an interim and partial solution to the continuing crisis at the hospital. The delivery of these beds and the crucial future development of permanent beds, new wards and upgraded facilities will require a continued united effort to deliver for the people of the County. The Hospital Committee policy over the last 9 years of inclusivity and united effort of the public, patients, staff, hospital management, the media and the people of all political persuasions and none has been particularly successful.

In this Context, the Committee welcomes the assurance by the Minister for Health, at our meeting on Friday last, that capital funding will be allocated in November’s Capital Budget to allow this process to commence.

The Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee is seriously concerned at the unacceptable level of mental health services in the County.

The closure of St Michael’s Unit and the transfer of acute inpatient psychiatric beds to Kilkenny and Ennis has been nothing short of disastrous and despite promises of a Rolls Royce community based service, we are now left with an utterly inadequate, under resourced, underfunded and understaffed service.

At our Committee’s request, on Friday last, Minister Harris has agreed that Mr Jim Daly T.D., Minister with responsibility for Mental Health Services will meet a deputation from the Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee and Oireachtas Members shortly to address these issues.

Seamus Healy T.D. Chairperson Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee 19/9/2017

Seamus Healy TD – Thirty-fifth Amendment of the Constitution (Right to Housing) Bill 2017

We must and we can stop families becoming homeless. Hundreds of thousands of citizens, including thousands of children are being damaged by disastrous Government policy that has created a housing emergency.

Seamus Healy TD: I welcome the Bill and will support it. A right to housing in the Constitution is a key element in tackling the housing crisis, but we must not wait – and we do not have to wait – for a referendum to tackle the crisis. We can and must tackle it now. Government policy has been and continues to be disastrous and disingenuous. The Taoiseach’s claim earlier today that Rebuilding Ireland, the housing policy, is working only proves he is completely out of touch with ordinary people. Hundreds of thousands of citizens, including thousands of children, are being damaged by this Government policy which has created a housing emergency and which has left 1,400 families, 8,600 people, including 3,000 children, homeless and, of course, led to three deaths in recent times.

We must stop families becoming homeless. We need to take measures immediately to stop this. We must stop the State-owned, our banks, namely, Allied Irish Banks and Permanent TSB, demanding the surrender and repossession of family homes and we must stop them evicting families from their homes. No new legislation is needed to do this. A simple instruction from the Minister for Finance to these banks is all that is necessary. It is an absolute disgrace that this has not been done already. The Minister should ensure that it is done immediately.

Emergency legislation must be rushed through the Dáil to stop vulture fund speculators, banks and others demanding vacant possession of purchased apartments and houses. Tenants must be entitled to remain so in purchase situations. If the political will was there, this could be done overnight. Recently, emergency legislation on the Rugby World Cup was put through the House in a matter of hours. These measures would go a long way to stopping families falling into homelessness.

Crucial to solving the housing and homelessness crisis is a formal and legal declaration by the Oireachtas of a housing emergency. If there was political will, this could be done quickly. There is already precedent for such an emergency declaration in the financial emergency measures in the public interest legislation introduced by a previous Government.

I welcome the recent statements – in July and again today – of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on housing and homelessness. It stated that in light of the extent of the human suffering caused by this public policy failure, as well as the economic damage it is doing, the housing situation should be treated as an emergency. It further stated that this is not a matter of choice but an absolute necessity. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions also stated, quite rightly, that the policy of reliance on the market has failed disastrously and that a key priority of the State must be to avoid reliance on the private sector and dramatically increase the building of social housing by local authorities. Local authorities should drive this programme, targeting a sharp increase in the output of social housing to a rate of at least 10,000 houses per year. As a result of the disastrous failure of Government policy, some authoritative body must take this issue by the scruff of the neck and make it a national priority. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is ideally placed to do this and I call on it to call a one-day general strike in order to demand a solution to the housing and homelessness crisis created by successive Governments.


Seamus Healy TD – 0872802199

Tell Us Your Story


“Fianna Fáil and Government undermine Irish Neutrality”

Seamus Healy TD:
I condemn this New alliance with British and French Navies To Push Refugees Back to “Hell on Earth” in Libyan Detention Camps.

Leaders Questions 11 July 2017

The Taoiseach’s reply today regarding South Tipperary General Hospital was absolutely disappointing and unacceptable. As the Taoiseach, the HSE, the management of the hospital and the management of the South-South West hospital group well know, the situation in South Tipperary General Hospital is absolutely atrocious.

Seamus Healy TD speaking on the Quarterly Report on Housing 06 July 2017

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