Winter eviction ban legally justified under public interest – Varadkar

Leo Varadkar said if the Attorney General and the Minister can defend it on public interest grounds, any legal challenge would fail.
Winter eviction ban legally justified under public interest – Varadkar

By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that he believes that the Government’s proposed eviction ban can be defended on public interest grounds.

The Fine Gael leader made the comments after the Irish Property Owners Association indicated that it is considering taking legal action over the one-off winter ban on notices of termination.

The Irish constitution protects the right to private property, but also acknowledges that these may “as occasion requires” need to be reconciled with the common good.

Mr Varadkar said that a legal challenge may be brought over Ministe for Housing Darragh O’Brien’s plans.

“In relation to the constitutionality of it, you know, anyone can bring a challenge to the courts, and that may well happen,” he told reporters in Dublin.

“Property rights in Ireland are subject to the common good. Bear in mind, properties themselves don’t have rights, the people who hold those properties have certain rights, but they are subject to the common good.

“And if the Attorney General and the Minister believe they can make a strong case to defend it on public interest grounds, then I think any challenge will be unsuccessful.”

The proposals are due to come before Cabinet for approval, with Mr Varadkar indicating that Mr O’Brien is planning to brief the press on the proposals later on Tuesday.

In relation to the concrete levy, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that “modifications” have been made to the Budget measure that Cabinet will also be briefed on.

“We’re retaining the levy, we’re retaining the levy that will happen next year. But I am aware and have always been aware of some trade-offs in relation to it that do need some management.

“The Government’s aiming to raise money to fund redress for the mica and other projects that will be coming up.”

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