Tuesday 10 December 2019

Minister: I advise constituents to turn down council homes over crime fears

European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy
European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy

Niall O'Connor

A government minister says he has told his constituents to reject offers of council properties if they don't feel the area is suitable.

European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy surprised party colleagues after admitting that he has urged families to turn down offers of homes during visits to his clinic.

Mr Murphy emphasised that he is visited by families who do not want to accept the offer of a home because they are concerned about living beside people engaged in criminality and drug dealing.

And he told the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting that if offers of homes are made in certain estates in his Cork North Central constituency, he will advise applicants to reject the properties.

Mr Murphy did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

He made the controversial remarks during a lengthy debate at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting.

The Irish Independent previously revealed that up to 40pc of families on the social housing list have turned down properties in the past 12 months.

The former Environment Minister Alan Kelly had considered tightening the rules surrounding the refusal of properties.

Reasons for refusals vary from not wanting to live beside a particular family to the area not having adequate facilities.

Irish Independent

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