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Demolishing Moyross houses ‘sinful’, says Jesuit

Fr Tony O’Riordan SJ, parish priest of Moyross, Limerick, has described the demolition of over 400 houses in the Moyross estate as “sinful” given the number of people who require homes in the city. And he urged Tánaiste Joan Burton and the Minister for Environment Alan Kelly to demand a moratorium on demolition of housing stock by Limerick City Council until a review is carried out.

Quoted in The Irish TImes, Tony O’Riordain said there was an urgent need for the Government to intervene in the “ludicrous house demolition policy” of Limerick City Council. He called for an immediate moratorium on all demolitions, to assess how many houses can be brought back into use.
Fr O’Riordan said that more than 400 houses in the Moyross estate had been demolished and there would not be enough homes built to replace them. “This ongoing demolition of housing stock is madness, sinful and must stop,” he said.

“The demolition of the two houses I witnessed in recent days was not required to make way for any immediate development. Most of these houses were homes up to recently, and with modest investment, many of them could provide a decent home for many families currently homeless in Limerick or on the housing waiting list,” he said.

He said the homeless crisis is concentrated in Dublin but is now a problem in most large towns and cities, including Limerick. He said Limerick CIty Counicl needed to carry out a review of it’s policy and of the housing need in the city. “The policy of demolishing houses in Moyross and other parts of Limerick might have had some justification seven years ago when the promise was to replace demolished houses with new builds,” he said. “But that hasn’t happened.”

“Such a review should identify a clear policy of reinstating boarded-up houses as homes and demolition should be a policy of the past. The delay in providing new houses needs to be examined and eliminated.”