Last night on Claire Byrne Live the Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan said that the constitution didn’t stand in the way of the state being able to pursue certain social agendas when it came to property and property rights.
This hinged on the back of an article in which the Minister with responsibility for housing Alan Kelly apparently said that the constitution blocked his ability to resolve our housing crisis, Honohan rebutted this with an open letter in the Sunday Independent.
What follows is an extract of the letter: Consequently, if the Oireachtas is of the view that the State should itself (or its local authorities) provide public housing “in the Common Good”, the State can (and probably, legally, should) decide not to wait the two/three years needed to build social housing but instead to immediately acquire houses now in private hands.
If the owners of these refuse to sell, acquisition can be by compulsory purchase with full compensation assessed by the arbitrator.
It so happens that there is a stock of such housing which has …