18 Feb. 2018
Leo and Fintan's Discordant Duet
Questioned about the capacity of the construction sector to build the
homes and infrastructural projects envisaged in the National Planning
Framework, Leo Varadkar said Ireland may benefit from more migrant
workers in the years ahead.
He said that at the height
of the boom Ireland had been relying on immigrants working in the
construction industry to build 80,000 homes a year.
"One of the ways we were able to do that was through migration and
having construction workers come in from other countries. We are going
to need that again."
Writing in Ship Of Fools
(2009; pp118/119) Fintan O'Toole wrote (safely after the event) "The
height of absurdity was reached in the last years of the boom when
Ireland was importing construction workers from Central and Eastern
Europe to build the houses in which they themselves would live. In 2006,
13% of the workforce in Irish construction was made up of migrant
Many builders were relying
on these workers to rent the houses the last wave of migrant workers
had built, while they themselves built the houses for the expected next
wave of Eastern European builders to rent".
Simon Coveney, on the News
at One on 16 Feb. said that probably 50% of the expected 1 million
population increase would be immigrants. That would make the immigrant
population 1 in 5 nationally and obviously far more in the larger
conurbations. Did anyone ask if that is what Irish people want?