Such is the importance of the move, I was surprised that a Ministerial decree, announced in the budget, did not receive very much publicity. The budget may have been extremely harsh but it did contain good news for one family.

Phyl Kennedy and her daughter Grace (18) had petitioned the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, to change legislation that prevented Grace from purchasing a house simply because she had Down Syndrome. The same legislation imposed a tax on her parents when they helped her to buy that home.

Citizens with Down Syndrome are prevented from buying property under the terms of the Lunacy Act 1871. This repulsive legislation, written in archaic terminology, precludes them from being party to such transactions.