The development blocked by #HomeSweetHome is worth 300 social houses



It costs €165,000 to build a social housing unit.

Apollo House, and the adjacent Hawkins House are set for €50m worth of development.

This is equivalent to 300 social houses.


Of course, the site itself is not worth €50m, nor is the government likely to receive €50m in taxes, however it is important to realise the economic activity at stake here. Jobs in demolition, construction and in the completed offices are held up by this action.


Only through sustained economic growth will the State be able to address the housing crisis. If we stand in the way of economic progress, we stand in the way of housing for all.




The decline of the large Irish family

I came across some new research from TCD on the Irish family which charts its evolution over the decades. The Irish family is more diverse than ever, something we affirmed in 2015 with the marriage equality referendum.

Above I note the evolution of Ireland’s fertility rate, a key social indicator. Our rate is now below 2, suggesting population decline. However, net migration is now positive suggesting overall population growth for the coming years.

Many European countries are not as fortunate, with populations set to decline over the coming decades. Poland has responded with a social welfare benefit paid to the second and subsequent child in each family. A similar scheme for Ireland is neither necessary or appropriate, but it highlights the severity of the problem, particularly in Eastern Europe.

As long as Ireland’s population continues to grow, it serves a foundation for numerous benefits. Growing populations support a growing economy and allow for the efficient delivery of public services.

How many of us can’t afford a night out?

Some data from Eurostat out today.



18% of Irish people can’t afford a drink/meal with friends/family once a month (over one-in-six).

26% of Irish under 25 can’t afford it either (over one-in-four).


Data is 2014 and may have improved over the past two years. Let’s hope so.

€10 for a pint in Sweden and everyone can afford it!