Local Councils must take full control of social housing provision and the concerns of fire service workers must be addressed, are two of the lessons for Ireland from the horrific Grenfell Tower Block Disaster, which is believed to have resulted in over 100 deaths, according to the Workers’ Party Dublin North West representative Gavin Mendel-Gleason.

Gleason said: “What has become clear in the days since the horrific fire in the Grenfell Tower Block in North Kensington in London is that outsourcing to private companies the provision of public housing invariably leads to a deterioration of safety standards and death.

“The Irish Government is currently refusing to accept that democratically controlled local authorities are the only bodies capable of organising the largescale public house building programme needed to alleviate the homelessness crisis. Such democratic organisations are also the only ones which can be trusted to maintain public housing over the long term.

“Rather this Government is intent on pursuing the failed policy agenda of the current British Conservatives and previous ‘New Labour’ administrations of outsourcing the provision of public housing to for profit private enterprises or so-called ‘non-profit’ private companies. The later merely being organisation that use the money they extract form public housing to provide increased pay for their executives rather than shareholders.

“This ideological commitment to putting the interests of those seeking to squeeze profit from the provision of public housing before the needs of families and individuals results in housing shortages and in the worse cases disasters such as Grenfell Tower.

“Sadly Leo Varadkar and the new so-called Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, have throughout their careers made no secret of their admiration of the sick and failed ideology of British Toryism. Unfortunately, neither of these individuals can be expected to show any true concern for working class people and their housing needs

“It is also unlikely that they will heed the demands of firefighters from across Ireland who have continually raised concerns about the running down of services. The workers who save lives rather than the views of smug ‘Tory Boys’ are what must take centre stage in discussions concerning improvements to fire safety.

“What is needed is a complete change in policy concerning the provision of public housing both here and in the UK. With the growing strength of socialist arguments in the UK and the growing interest in Ireland in real solutions to the housing crisis, such as those contained in the Workers’ Party policy document Solidarity Housing, there is hope that the men, women and children of Grenfell Tower’s horrific deaths may lead, in time, to a housing policies which place people before greed.”