A SINN Fein TD revealed his brother is homeless and recovering from drug addiction during a heated debate in the Dail today.
Cork North Central TD Jonathan O’Brien said his brother could not afford to pay for his own accommodation because of rent caps and was forced to stay in hostels where people are openly taking drugs.
“I have a brother who is homeless. He is a recovering heroin addict who cannot get accommodation because of the cap on rent allowance,” he said.
He added: “He has been forced to go back into a hostel where drug taking happens in front of him.”
Labour TD Eric Byrne responded by asking Mr O’Brien: “Why does his good family not take him home?”
Mr O'Brien hit back at Mr Byrne saying: "shut your mouth".
Speaking to independent.ie, Mr O’Brien called on Mr Byrne to “reflect on” what he felt was a “stupid and flippant” comment.
Asked about his comments, Mr Byrne said Mr O’Brien was “well-paid” and should be able to take his brother into his home.
Mr O’Brien’s comments were made during angry exchanges as Tánaiste Joan Burton took Leaders Questions.
Ms Burton was responding to questions from Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan who called for drug free accommodation for the homeless.
“I ask here today that there be a firm commitment to the principle of separate accommodation for those in recovery who are drug free,” Ms O'Sullivan said.