Housing: A Missed Opportunity


Much referred to in Ireland, much spoken about, accepted in principle by many, but also much feared by the powers that be, so rarely seen and never implemented. That is the legacy of Justice John Kenny’s Report of the Committee on the Price of Building Land to the Minister for Local Government (more popularly known as the Kenny Report), published in 1973. The concurrent lauding of the report at the same time as it being constantly side-lined was something that frustrated Kenny until his passing in 1987, and would have no doubt continued to frustrate him given its continuing status as the rulebook that nobody plays by.

In Housing: A Missed Opportunity, Tim Ryan outlines the background to the Kenny Report, the deliberations which surrounded it and the final highly controversial report which resulted in the two civil servants from the commissioning department publishing their own minority report.

Throughout these pages, the author helps us understand what has been done, what has not been done, what is done elsewhere, and what should be done. The book is instructive in what happens when political courage is lacking and the consequences of doing nothing when there is much that is being done, but a lot more that could be done. Kenny and his Report is still very relevant today.