Paul Melia: Government is ignoring mistakes of the recent past
To be clear, the decision by Government to relax the building regulations for one-off homes and extensions has nothing to do with protecting consumers from unscrupulous, over-charging building professionals.
It is all about protecting the rural base of under-pressure coalition TDs, many of whom are far from confident of retaining their seat in next year's General Election. One-off housing is a real issue in rural Ireland, where people prefer to live close to the homestead on larger sites than would be available in built-up areas.
The figures tell the story. Half of all homes built between January 2013 and June this year are one-off. In 13 of 31 local authority areas, 70pc or more of the total units constructed are single dwellings, rising to 80pc in Kilkenny.