[Sinn Fein]

30th March 2003

Jonathan O Brien Elected to Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle

Cork City Councillor, Jonathan O Brien, was elected to the Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle at a very successful Ard Fheis this weekend. Jonathan O Brien also put a radical proposal on housing which was adopted by the Ard Fheis.

Commenting on his election, Jonathan O Brien said: ``I am honoured at being chosen to be a member of the Sinn Fein leadership and look forward to the challenges ahead. My election is a reflection of the growth of Sinn Fein in Cork City and County and a credit to the hard work done by Sinn Fein activists in the city over the last few years.

I was particularly pleased that the Ard Fheis adopted the motion on housing proposed by Cork Sinn Fein. (Copy of motion below). The housing crisis is a big problem both in Cork and across the country. The Fianna Fail/PD coalition have created a housing crisis which is one of the worst in the history of the state and which will have ramifications for a long time to come. The depth of the crisis needs a radical solution, which will not just deal with the present situation but put the provision of housing on a stable long term basis.

The proposal would develop a housing agency responsible for ensuring that adequate housing is built by the public and private sector and with powers to compulsory purchase building land at agricultural prices. The underlying theme of the proposal is that housing should be provided on the basis of need not for the enrichment of a cartel of developers.

Sinn Fein Ard Fheis Motion on Housing

That Sinn Fein in government will establish a national housing agency, the function of this agency is to ensure that housing is available on the basis of need.

The agency will have a number of roles to fulfil this function.

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