Carlow councillor urges ‘locals first’ social housing policy

Labour has distanced itself from a party councillor who called on his local authority to enforce an “affirmative action” plan that would prioritise housing local people ahead of asylum seekers.

Carlow county councillor Will Paton said he has made a submission to the council “calling for affirmative action for housing locals first before any consideration is given to housing asylum seekers”.

“There are very few houses available for rent and most that are available are refusing to take rent supplement or the new housing assist payment,” Mr Paton wrote on Facebook on Monday. “When all the locals are housed then I will gladly welcome asylum seekers.

“The chief executive has said that no approach has been made to Carlow county council by any authority to date. Locals first!”

A party spokesperson said Mr Paton’s view does not reflect that of the Labour party.

Mr Paton has not returned calls to the Irish Examiner.

Meanwhile, a general election candidate in Cork South Central has said Ireland does not have the resources needed to accept refugees.

Independent candidate Elizabeth Hourihane insists she is not anti-immigration, but added that she believes the mass sexual assaults that took place in Germany could happen here if the country takes in more migrants and refugees.

German officials recently issued a report on the New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne, in which it was alleged that hundreds of women suffered sexual assaults. Its report stated that the alleged attackers were almost exclusively from a migrant background.

“How can we effectively screen them here if they can’t get it under control in Germany?” Ms Hourihane said. She also said she has received widespread support for her stance.

“We live in an age of equality,” she said. “Things have gotten so PC you can’t open your mouth. Nationalism and patriotism have become dirty words.”

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