realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Monday, March 07, 2005

For the Love of God....

I was half asleep when I heard Fr Sean Healy on Morning Ireland ranting on about the injustice of people buying second homes (holiday homes) when there are so many people on the housing list.....it was all so riduculous I thought I was dreaming (a very weird dream to have admittedly) but it's true - CORI are taking a firm stand against holiday homes. Apparently the infrastructure to support these houses is substantially subsidised by the tax-payer. Roads, water, sewage and electricity infrastructure are just part of this subsidy which goes, by definition, to those who are already better off as they can afford these second homes in the first place. In addition, the authors of the review point out that the huge growth in demand for second houses is eating up resources and militating against balanced regional development.
Fr Healy was challenged on giving up religious land for the development of social housing and he said that Irish religious orders have already given substanial amounts of land at low cost/free for social housing.
Like most sensible people, I believe in the right to own private property. So I don't think the religious should be forced to give up their properties in return for some secular goodwill given all the hospitals, schools and other vital services that were ran by the many hardworking and good religious over the years. But CORI can't tell us not to have a holiday home.
It's not as if all those on waiting lists in Dublin want to move to a cottage in the Burren or Leitrim anyway. Surely a little bit of free market economics and all that would lead to a more prosperous society which enables things like public-private partnership to build social housing....
I recently heard a priest talking about how CORI tended to anti-democracy, which was in his opinion (and mine too) wasn't a wholly Catholic position to take (not that the Church demands a position on economics)...he felt that CORI would much rather an benevolent socialist dictatorship than a thriving free market democracy.
CORI's stand on this and other economic policies are just silly - one presumes that as Catholics, they share the vision that man was made in the image and likeness of God and that man has a daily obligation, through his/her work to continue the work of creation. Creation of wealth follows from the ability to freely create as God intended - using our talents and gifts without undue restriction from the benevolent dictators in CORI.

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