Wednesday, 29 June 1966
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. T. O'Donnell: and Mr. Coughlan asked the Minister for Local Government if an inspector from his Department recently visited Limerick city to investigate the housing crisis there; and, if so, if he will state (a) the date of the inspector's visit, (b) the duration of his stay, (c) whom he interviewed, (d) what recommendations  he subsequently made, and (e) what steps the Minister has taken or proposes to take to deal with the housing crisis in Limerick, and its consequent results on skilled and unskilled employment in the building industry.
Mr. Blaney: No such visit was made by an inspector of my Department. Limerick was, however, visited on 2nd June last by an officer of my Department, in the course of his administrative duties, for the purpose of obtaining additional information in regard to the use by Limerick Corporation of their current capital allocation for house-purchase loans and supplementary grants. It is not the practice to give details of the daily working programme of individual Departmental officers nor to disclose the recommendations made by them in particular matters.
With regard to the alleged crisis in the building industry in Limerick. I am satisfied that, with the full co-operation of all concerned, it should be feasible to maintain a reasonable level of activity in the housing sector on the basis of the Corporation's total housing capital allocation of £770,000 for 1966-67. This allocation represents substantially greater expenditure than their average annual expenditure over the past three years.
As regards local authority housing, the Corporation were informed last March that the question of allocating moneys for new work would be considered in the light of the position obtaining when further tenders are submitted for my approval. As regards house purchase loans, and supplementary grants, I made arrangements last week for a joint discussion to take place tomorrow in Limerick between representatives of the Corporation, the building industry and of my Department to discuss the position further in I will review the position further in due course in the light of the outcome of that meeting.
Mr. Coughlan: Will the Minister tell us are the trades groups being invited to this discussion tomorrow and for whose convenience was this meeting called for tomorrow, knowing that this  House is sitting and the public representatives will be here? Will the meeting be public?
Mr. Coughlan: Of what is the Minister afraid? We have to let the people of Limerick know the crisis in the building trade and it is for that reason we pressed the Minister to send down this inspector.
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