Taoiseach: Protests are welcome but they 'aren't going to build any houses'

Protests won't build any houses, according to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Mr Varadkar hit out at the Take Back the City movement saying people have the right to protest but should not break the law while doing so.

He also slapped down Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan's suggestion of banning people from taking photos of gardaí who are on duty.

Mr Varadkar thinks taking to the streets will not achieve anything.

He said: "Protests aren't going to build any houses, but Government will build houses and the private sector will build houses as well.

"And that will ultimately be the solution to this problem.

"Protests are part of democracy and protests are welcome, they are part of a healthy democracy. However, protests should be peaceful and they should occur in accordance with the law."

There were calls to make it illegal for landlords to increase rent.

The Social Democrats and Sinn Féin have called for a rent freeze for a number of years.

They say it would be policed by renters self-reporting cases where landlords tried to increase payments, but the Taoiseach says the idea probably wouldn't work.

Social Democrats TD Roisin Shortall said it is a needed intervention, saying: "There should be a blanket freeze on rent at this point to stop the spiralling rents.

"Effectively, there are very few controls there at the moment, in spite of what we're told in relation to rent pressure zones."

"They are just not working and we have listed the grounds on which they are not working and they don't apply in a lot of areas of the country."

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