Friday 20 April 2018

Angry exchanges

Rent controls

It was a warm day, but Gerry Adams was feeling the heat when he tangled with the Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett during Leaders' Questions yesterday.

The Sinn Fein leader was quizzing the Taoiseach on various matters relating to the Department of Health, when the Ceann Comhairle intervened and asked him to stick to one topic only, as per the House rules.

However, Gerry wasn't in the mood to have his flow of thought disrupted, and asked the Ceann Comhairle to desist from interrupting him, adding: "I think it is very interesting that when I ask the Taoiseach a question, you interrupt me."

An irate Sean shot to his feet. "Excuse me. Are you trying to imply that I am defending somebody?" he demanded.

"Rules apply in this House. You know that on Leaders' Questions one is entitled to one topic. I am only applying the rules as they stand. Would you please adhere to them?" he ordered Adams.

The Sinn Fein president tried to object, protesting he was merely trying to get answers relating to Health, but his plea got him nowhere, and sensing the Ceann Comhairle was most unhappy, he swiftly moved on.

At the end of Leader's Questions, Sean Barrett issued a plaintive appeal to the deputies to calm down.

HOUSING Minister Jan O'Sullivan is to get legal advice on the possibility of introducing rent controls. The minister said the move would be a step in tackling homelessness, particularly in Dublin.

"I personally would like to introduce controls but obviously I have to listen to everybody concerned and I have to listen to the legal advice to see what is possible," she said.

Speaking at the launch of a public awareness campaign, Ms O'Sullivan said homelessness is the biggest problem facing the capital and that she is determined to find a solution.

"Rent control is something we need to examine, there is a certain amount, but the problem is that the market rents are going up very quickly.

"I have to look at the legal side and the constitutional side in terms of property rights but it's certainly something that I'm determined to look at," said Ms O'Sullivan.

The Government's National Implementation Plan on Homelessness outlines its commitment to address adult homelessness.

The campaign, targeted at preventing families from becoming homeless in the Dublin region, is trying to ensure this action is put into practice.

Irish Independent

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