Taoiseach will not apologise for record-breaking homelessness in ard fheis speech

There were 10,805 people living in emergency accommodation in August, of those 3,220 were children.
Taoiseach will not apologise for record-breaking homelessness in ard fheis speech

Micheál Martin said the Government will provide more accommodation to deal with the increase in numbers in emergency accommodation and admitted: 'We’re not happy about it.' Picture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he will not be apologising for the homelessness crisis in his ard fheis speech on Saturday.

Mr Martin also confirmed that he would not be moving Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien in a Cabinet reshuffle and he will remain in his portfolio.

The Fianna Fáil leader moved to defend the Government’s Housing for All plan and said a factor in the increase in numbers was due to new arrivals into the country.

It comes as fresh figures from the Department of Housing show homelessness figures have reached a record high for the second month in a row.

There were 10,805 people living in emergency accommodation in August, 3,220 were children.

Mr Martin said the Government will provide more accommodation to deal with the increase and admitted: “We’re not happy about it.” 

Speaking at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis, he said: “We will be intervening in terms of a number of measures through acquisitions or through leasing to provide emergency provision for those who are likely to become homeless.” 

Mr Martin denied the Government’s housing policy is failing and said he would challenge anyone to find a substantive policy document to deal with the housing crisis.

Mr Martin said he has confidence in Mr O’Brien and he has been “working flat out.” 

When asked by the Irish Examiner if he will be apologising to the Irish people for his failure to deal with the housing and health crisis on his watch, Mr Martin said “I would reject your assertion so no I will not be doing that.”

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