Young Workers Network: The Development of the Irish State

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Information about Young Workers Network: The Development of the Irish State

Published on February 12, 2014

Author: conormccabe



Slides for class two in Irish political economy for activists

Irish Political Economy for Trade Unionists and Activists 2. The development of the Irish State

“We wish to resuscitate the speculative builder..” W.T. Cosgrave, 1925

“We wish to resuscitate the speculative builder..” W.T. Cosgrave, 1925 Housing Acts, 1924 & 1925 - Building grants for owneroccupiers - Remission on local authority rates

“I am a firm believer in private ownership, because it makes for better citizens, and there is no greater barrier against communism.” Senator James Tunney, Labour Party, 1952

“The man of property is ever against revolutionary change. Consequently a factor of the first importance in combating emigration and preventing social unrest, unemployment marches, and so on, is the widest possible diffusion of ownership.” Most Revd Dr. Cornelius Lucey, Bishop of Cork, 1957

1966 Housing Act - allowed local authority tenants in urban areas to purchase their homes - by the early 1990s, 220,000 of the 330,000 public housing units in the state had been sold to


“The problem here is that, when one looks at the top 190 debtors in the NAMA universe with debts of €62 billion, a relatively small number of people were chasing the same assets and it was like a Ponzi scheme. They overborrowed and were overlent to by banks. There was huge inflation of asset values and this was not sustainable in the context of the economy. There was a disconnect between the economy growing at 8% or 9% per annum and lending by banks growing at 35% or 40% per year. The problem was caused by overpaying for assets.” Brendan McDonagh, Chief Executive, NAMA, in evidence to the Public Accounts Committee, 26 October 2011

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