ESRI January 2024 Newsletter

Message from the Director

Dear Reader,

The first ESRI report of 2024 generated a notable amount of interest. In Long-term residential care in Ireland: Developments since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, my colleagues found that one in five smaller nursing homes have closed in recent times and 74% of nursing home beds are now provided in private nursing homes. These findings will undoubtedly offer valuable insights for policymakers as we strive for a sustainable model of quality long-term care.

A separate report on young adult caregivers in Ireland found this group is more likely to receive poorer Leaving Certificate grades and less likely to go onto higher education. You can watch our webinar launch here. We were joined by Conor Byrne, Leinster Young Carer of the Year 2023, who shared his first-hand experience. I was struck by Conor’s dedication and resilience. He is a testament to the many caregivers across Ireland.

Last Wednesday, we launched the latest report in our Shared Island series. Contrasting housing supply in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom analyses how different features of the housing markets across Ireland and the UK impact housing supply. It found that Ireland particularly suffers from constraints on the availability of finance for homebuyers. The report highlights the importance of continued public investment in social and affordable housing.

Lastly, I was delighted to co-edit the report The National Development Plan in 2023: priorities and capacity which was published this month. It also highlights the need for more investment in housing, as well as in health, climate and other areas of public infrastructure. However, it recognises the dilemma facing government due to labour shortages and the risk of fuelling inflation. Our challenge was to provide high-level guidelines on how to manage this conflict. We were grateful for the invitation to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight last Wednesday to discuss our findings. You can watch the proceedings below.

It has been a great start to the year for us, and I look forward to keeping you informed of our work over the coming year. 

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Professor Alan Barrett