Homes for Heroes
Homes for Heroes
The British Government built over 2,600 cottages for ex-servicemen, its largest estate at Killester a showcase garden city development. Responsibility after the conflict lay with an imperial agency, the Irish Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Trust, whose operation required the cooperation of the Irish Government. Perhaps the biggest obstacle was the antagonism of the tenants who were constantly in conflict with the Trust. The Trust’s rental policy was the subject of controversy favouring those who could afford the rent, rather than those most in need. Excessive rents were reduced under the duress of rent strikes but not before evictions for many of those in arrears, even when they were unable to pay. The tenants succeeded in the Irish Supreme Court to prove that the Trust had no right to charge rent. The Trust unsuccessfully sought a resolution through requests to the Irish Government to enact corrective legislation and in negotiations with the tenants. They were successful in court actions in seeking evictions for the more extreme forms of tenancy abuse but the building programme was halted. Although in the provision of homes and pensions Irish ex-servicemen were favourably treated, the British Government was severely criticised, perhaps due to false expectations and lack of complementary social support.
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