‘I have no confidence in Eoghan Murphy’

Sinn Féin may table a motion of no confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy as the number of homeless people reaches almost 10,000.

Party leader Mary-Lou McDonald hit out at the Government’s record on homelessness. Asked whether Sinn Féin would table a motion of no confidence in Mr Murphy, she said “of course it’s a possibility”.

“I have no confidence in this Government, I have no confidence in Eoghan Murphy,” said Ms McDonald. “We haven’t decided or considered tabling a motion, but certainly we could and I don’t think anyone can credibly continue without calling this Government out and without calling Eoghan Murphy out.”

It comes after February homelessness figures, published this week, revealed there are now 1,739 families in emergency accommodation, including 3,755 children.

A total of 222 more families entered homelessness across the country last month.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has admitted it is a “national emergency”.

Following the release of February’s figures, Mr Murphy said he had asked Dublin Regional Homeless Executive to review “trends” and that the Government is likely to bring forward additional policies to address these aspects.

“I have also asked the new inter-agency group to expedite its report regarding better co-ordination of Government resources,” said Mr Murphy.

“Both these reports will come in April and we will move swiftly to implement any recommendations from them.

“I know that the crisis we have in homelessness is very distressing but I hope people understand that every day a huge amount of work is being put in by our teams to both prevent people from entering emergency accommodation and to exit people into sustainable tenancies as quickly as possible.”

Ms McDonald said the Government does not take proposals from the opposition on board.

She suggested the Government is “hoping there will be a public fatigue” on the issue of housing and homelessness.

“You have to bear in mind that, outside of those figures, you have now virtually an entire generation locked out of earning their own home,” said Ms McDonald.

“We’re told consistently it’s not a question of money, that the resources are there, we’re told that there is a plan, a direction. But then the figures come out, and even before you see the figures I know in terms of my own constituency work just how desperate things are.

“And even before our housing spokesperson, even when he has come forward constructively with things to speed things up around procurement and other measures, they’re just set aside.”


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