HomeNewsChurches Subject to Seizure Following Rezoning

Churches Subject to Seizure Following Rezoning

Dublin City Council’s extraordinary rezoning of Catholic Churches in daily use and other church properties such as parish community halls subjects them to a ‘vacant residential property levy’ a tax of 3% from 2024. That is about to become the least of their problems. Once they are rezoned as ‘vacant residential properties’ despite their use for daily mass and other Church activities, they can then be targeted for seizure by the state under future emergency housing legislation which is already in the pipeline. This piece of rezoning of church property is reminiscent of Stalin’s Soviet Union as Irelands “woke” politicians behave more and more like members of the repressive Stalinist regime. No property is safe including your home as Irelands politicians embrace the “You will own nothing and you will be happy” philosophy of their World Economic Forums master Claus Schwab.

Archbishops Lame Response

Dublin’s Archbishop Dermot Farrell has somewhat mutedly and politely criticised Dublin City Council for its zoning of active Catholic churches ‘for residential development’ and the inclusion of them for taxation under the new ‘Residential Zoned Land Tax’. Dr Farrell told the Irish Independent that it was “an extraordinary attack on the Catholic faith”. He further stated that the churches listed in the council’s ‘Draft Residential Zoned Land Tax’ (RZLT) map are active churches in daily use for worship and mass. Funerals and weddings are regularly held in them. He said, he found it “extraordinary” that the council would want to “rezone these churches and the curtilage of the churches for residential use and take them off the Catholic communities” in places like Ballyfermot and elsewhere around the city where 24 churches and eight parish halls were designated by the council for inclusion in the Residential Zoned Land Tax plan. This is due to come into effect in 2024. The Archbishops whimpering response is in stark contrast to the thunderous response from his predecessors for much lesser infringements of church territory.

Rezoning Churches for Housing

The inclusion of churches and church properties under the ‘Residential Zoned Land tax’ has been described as part of the Government’s efforts to free up land for development amid the housing crisis. The ‘Residential Zoned Land Tax’ was introduced in the 2021 Finance Act. The plan is to ‘activate’ land ‘that is serviced and zoned for residential use’ in order to increase housing supply and ensure regeneration of vacant and idle lands in urban locations. Dublin City Council has included active churches and church properties as ‘vacant and idle lands in urban locations’. Those church properties designated as residential will subject them to seizure under proposed emergency housing legislation. In the meantime, they will be levied with a 3pc tax which will be imposed on the market value of the residentially zoned churches and church property that is being described by the council as vacant or undeveloped despite their daily use. They will then be zoned for housing opening the way for their future seizure by the state under emergency housing legislation.

April Fool’s Day Review

The Archbishop said “There was no consultation whatsoever with the archdiocese,”.  A Dublin diocese spokesman said all of the churches and properties included have challenged their inclusion in the RZLT map by the city council pointing out that the properties are “not vacant” but are “actually in use and will be into the future”. The St Laurence O’Toole Trust made the submissions on behalf of the diocese. A council spokesperson said that they are reviewing submissions and a formal determination on those submissions will be made by Fools Day, April 1st. A council spokesperson said: “It is likely that an increased number of the social and community buildings will be excluded from the final map.” Under the ‘Residential Zoned Land Tax’ (RZLT) process, local authorities identify and maps the land to be taxed. Revenue then administers the tax.


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