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Counter Culture / April 5, 2022

Petition launched to establish an Irish state construction company

Image via Unsplash
Counter Culture / April 5, 2022

Petition launched to establish an Irish state construction company

Words: Eva O’Beirne

The petition was launched yesterday and has gained nearly three hundred signatures.

According to the petition description, a state-run construction company would divert scarce skilled construction labour to building projects where it is urgently required. Just over a quarter of the 150,000 construction workers in Ireland are actually building residential homes. Instead, many are building hotels and offices.

The organiser of the petition, Philomena Murphy commented on the motivation to start the petition: “My main reasons for the petition is the fact that most construction workers are currently involved in the construction of non-essential builds like offices and hotels.”

“We already have a scarcity of skilled construction workers and a worsening housing crisis – it’s outrageous to think just over a quarter of scare, skilled construction workers are building residential homes when there are such chronic shortages.”

Philomena noted the research she has conducted around this issue: “I’ve been liaising closely with the advocacy group Building Workers Know Your Rights and they believe that having a State construction company, with decent pay, safety regulations, and the chance of permanent, pensionable employment would in turn force the private sector construction companies to ‘up their game’ and improve working conditions and rewards for workers, which in turn would more a career in construction a more attractive career prospect for young people.”

The average age of employed construction workers was 42.3 years in 2017. The petition states that Ireland “urgently” needs to attract young people into pursuing a career in the construction sector.

According to Philomena, “the market has utterly failed to provide construction of residential homes on the scale required to combat the Irish housing crisis” and “it is time for the Government to intervene and establish a State construction company which builds essential buildings like residential homes.”

To read more about the petition, click here.

The recent findings of Daft.ie’s Irish Rental Report for quarter four of 2021 revealed a number of worrying statistics in regards to the housing crisis in Ireland.

The report noted that according to listed rent prices compiled by the website, the average national rent in Ireland sits at 1,524 euro per month, which is ten per cent higher than the same period in 2020 and the highest rate since early 2018.

Currently, consumers need an income of 130,000 euro to qualify for a mortgage to buy an average-priced house in Dublin.

Elsewhere on District: Abandoned classrooms in Wexford are available to rent for 275 euro