Sunday 25 February 2018

Ronald Quinlan: Government told in 2012 that housing shortage 'imminent'

Our politicians were told time and time again of the need to start building new homes as the economic recovery began and did nothing, writes Ronald Quinlan

Michael O'Flynn. Photo: Courtpix
Michael O'Flynn. Photo: Courtpix
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

If somebody had told you in 2012 that the country was heading rapidly towards a housing crisis, there's a strong chance you would have questioned their judgment.

But you could have done something worse than that. You could have followed the example of our politicians who failed to even listen to the stark and repeated warnings given by developer Michael O'Flynn that 2013 would be the year that Dublin and Ireland's other major cities would begin to experience housing shortages. In an interview with the Sunday Independent on December 30, 2012, Mr O'Flynn (pictured below) said: "Nobody wants to talk about property and that's somewhat understandable given where we've ended up. But to not do this [strategic review] now is going to be problematic in the future. I think a lot of housing shortages will show up in the next 12 months."

It's evident that even as he made that call, the Cork-based businessman understood the Government was unlikely to pay him much heed for fear of offending public and political opinion which at the time still mostly held that developers and bankers had acted in concert to bring the country to its knees.

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