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Horse Racing Ireland – Do the right thing for those in need of housing – Curran

10 April, 2018 - by Chris Curran

Sinn Féin councillor for Sandyford/Glencullen Chris Curran has called on Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to immediately engage with the board of Horse Racing Ireland to create a mechanism under which unused semi-state land in Carrickmines can be used for public and affordable housing.

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council last night passed a motion from Councillor Curran which called for a meeting between Horse Racing Ireland and the Minsters for Housing and Agriculture to discuss the how to make the land available for public and affordable housing.

Speaking this morning, Cllr Curran said;

“The government don't seem to get the message. They don't seem understand the severity of the problem and the effect this is having on people's lives. What's being done is not enough and they need to explore other options to deal with the crisis.

“The land in question is listed as a vacant site and, considering that Horse Racing Ireland receives substantial state funding, it is only right that the taxpayer receive a dividend on its investment.

“In this instance, I am talking of around five hectares of unused land.

“I believe the semi-state can give great hope to some of those in emergency accommodation and on waiting lists and those who can't afford to save the astronomical deposits to buy a home, by meeting the minister to bring this proposal to reality immediately.”

Cllr Curran’s remarks come after an impassioned and emotional plea to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil councillors in last night's council meeting to have a motion passed to support getting access to the land.

“It shouldn't have taken this long to bring this motion about. Fine Gael consistently argued in consecutive meetings that the motion should not be discussed.

“Sinn Féin won the debate and that’s what matters. It’s over to the Minister now. However, Horse Racing Ireland could be the real champions by taking a proactive step ahead of the government and help those most in need of the most basic right - a place to call home.

“I would like to thank all those councillors who supported the motion this time round as well as those from all parties in Sandyford Glencullen.” 

Note: Text of Councillor Curran’s motion:

That this Council agrees that Horse Racing Ireland must make appropriate development land, zoned A - residential amenity, available to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for the provision of public and affordable housing, urgently.

This Council also agrees to write to: - 

• The Minister for Agriculture, 

• The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government and, 

• The Board of Directors of Horse Racing Ireland,

requesting The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to convene a meeting, as a matter of urgency with the parties outlined above, to discuss what mechanisms can be used to make the land available to this Council for public and affordable housing.

This motion also requests that the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government provide a written report of any meetings held and their outcomes to this Council.

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