First cabinet meeting of the new political term set for tomorrow; Fine Gael to discuss housing crisis

The homeless and housing crisis is likely to dominate a meeting of Fine Gael ministers today.

First cabinet meeting of the new political term set for tomorrow; Fine Gael to discuss housing crisis

Housing, flooding, hospital trolley figures, and the upcoming Garda breath- testing report, as well as water charges, are expected to be discussed by Fine Gael ministers today ahead of the first cabinet meeting of the term tomorrow.

In the the wake of the deaths of three homeless people in the past week, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is expected to brief his party colleagues on progress on the crisis.

Mr Murphy has also called on chief executives of every local authority in the country to attend an emergency summit on Friday to assess what is being done to provide housing at a local level and what level of development is planned.

It comes as Social Justice Ireland claimed that 90,000 homes must be built to keep up with demand and solve the housing emergency.

A spokesman for the minister added that Mr Murphy has been in constant contact with the four Dublin councils, where the levels of homelessness are worst, but has also spoken to Waterford, Limerick, Cork, and Galway councils.

Mr Murphy is also expected to bring a review of predecessor Simon Coveney’s Rebuilding Ireland plan to Cabinet in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and chief whip Joe McHugh will provide an update on the recent flooding in Donegal and the Government’s flood defence measures.

Mr McHugh yesterday urged all farmers hit by storm damage during last month’s floods on the Inishowen peninsula and in east Donegal to take part in a survey to asses the impact of the flooding.

Animal losses and damage to land and infrastructure are also being assessed as part of a Teagasc report for the Government.

Mr McHugh said: “It’s important that as much data as possible is gathered so that a full assessment of the damage which was done can be made.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney travelled to Brussels yesterday to meet with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier.

Mr Coveney is expected to attend the Fine Gael ministers meeting and will also travel to Belfast to meet four of the five political parties in a bid to break the Stormont impasse. He will meet with Sinn Féin in Dublin on Thursday.

Separately, Mr Murphy is expected to bring a memo to Cabinet tomorrow on the refunding of water charges.

Irish Water now hopes to have post €170m in refund cheques out before the end of the year to all those households who paid the controversial water charges.

News: 6

Fergus Finlay: 10

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