Ireland: Socialist MP condemns Charles Haughey legacy

Today’s Fianna Fáil government also “in the pockets of speculators”

This week, the Moriarty Tribunal reported in Ireland that former Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) and leader of Fianna Fáil, Charles Haughey, profiteered from big business while he held office. Joe Higgins, Socialist Party TD (MP), showed the legacy of Haughey’s policies for working people today in a press statement and during his questioning in the Dáil (parliament), of today’s Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader, Bertie Ahern.

Socialist MP condemns Charles Haughey legacy

Press Statement- 20th December 2006 by Joe Higgins T.D., The Socialist Party

Moriarty Tribunal Report:

  • Haughey’s Corruption not an Historic Curiosity;
  • Society Continues to Pay a Heavy Price;
  • Taoiseach’s Refusal to Curb the Speculators Continues Haughey Legacy

Fianna Fáil would like to write off the Report of the Moriarty Tribunal on the corruption of Charles Haughey as an historic curiosity. That is a convenient way of attempting to evade a chilling reality – society today continues to pay a very heavy price for Haughey’s corruption.

Two burning issues confronting this State are the exorbitant cost of a home and acute gridlock in Dublin and other major centres.

The carte blanche for developers and big builders to engage in obscene profiteering in land speculation and house building can be traced to the late 1950’s and 1960’s when Charles Haughey himself engaged in land speculation under the tutelage of the Gallaghers – big building contractors. This relationship developed into the Taca fund-raising venture for Fianna Fáil and continues to this day.

Proper planning for communities, which should have involved major infrastructure alongside the massive housing development was fatally compromised. The catastrophic gridlock now a feature of daily life in Dublin and elsewhere directly results from the unrestrained right given to developers to profiteer from house building without being required to provide for efficient public transport system.

Similarly first time house buyers are also paying a monstrous price for the speculation and profiteering which has been allowed to go on unhindered by the Fianna Fáil/ Progressive Democrat government.

In the Dáil, Joe Higgins T.D. holds Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to account after Haughey oration:

Leaders’ Questions, June 21st, 2006

Pointing to a Report outlining an increase of €300,000 in the price of an ordinary home in Dublin in ten years, Joe Higgins said:

Joe Higgins:

This happened on the Taoiseach’s watch. He failed cataclysmically to stop the unbridled speculation by developers and house builders. Of course, that was deliberate. The matter goes all the way back to the devil’s pact made between Fianna Fáil and house builders and speculators in the 1960s. They bought the party’s councillors, who in turn corrupted planning in Dublin and, perhaps, other areas, and created the nightmare we now have. They got everything they wanted. They bought the party’s former leader, who the Taoiseach eulogised unstintingly last Friday. The VIP pen in the Donnycarney church was like a major house builders’ convention….

The Taoiseach said nothing to indicate that house prices will stop increasing and gave no indication of a Government measure to stop the increase. Is that because the Government has no such measures or because the clatter of developers’ helicopters as they descend on the Fianna Fáil tent at the Galway races is drowning out the calls from tens of thousands of young people and their parents to stop this scandal of

unbridled profiteering in the housing market?”

The Taoiseach:

Deputy Higgins loves asking questions but never wants to listen to any answers. He would love to return to the days of pathetic poverty when de Valera and Lemass built social houses, when no other houses were being built. People were living in council houses and had to emigrate because they had no jobs and no future….

Joe Higgins:

Fianna Fáil was in power when that happened, not me.

The Taoiseach:

That is the great tradition Deputy Higgins and his merry warriors want to bring back. We are building at a greater rate than the United States, Europe or the UK. We are providing new homes to the working class and young people at a rate matched by no country in Europe.

Joe Higgins:

The population is increasing so that is not surprising. The Taoiseach is in the pockets of speculators.

The Taoiseach:

Does Deputy Higgins wish to drag us back to a time when people had no salaries and no jobs? He has a failed ideology and the most hopeless policy pursued by any nitwit. He is a failed person who was rejected and whose political philosophy has been rejected. He will not pull people back into the failed old policies he dreamed up in south Kerry when he was a young fellow. Now go away.

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