Wednesday 21 November 2018

'Out of touch and out of his depth' - Sinn Féin tables motion of no confidence in Eoghan Murphy

Sinn Fein housing spokesman Eoin O Broin marked Eoghan Murphy’s first year as Minister for Housing with a mobile billboard highlighting the department’s failings. Photo: PA
Sinn Fein housing spokesman Eoin O Broin marked Eoghan Murphy’s first year as Minister for Housing with a mobile billboard highlighting the department’s failings. Photo: PA

Aoife Moore

Sinn Fein has tabled a motion of no confidence in the Government's housing minister Eoghan Murphy.

The motion was tabled by the Sinn Fein housing spokesman Eoin O Broin after the announcement that they would put the motion forward at a party think-in last week.

Mr Murphy, who has been minister for housing for 15 months, has come under increased pressure during the summer as homeless figures threatened to hit 10,000.

During his tenure, homelessness has increased 25 per cent, and children now represent one in three homeless people in Ireland.

Criticism came to a boil last month when a homeless family with seven children were forced to sleep in a Garda Station due to a lack of emergency accommodation, and a number of protests took place around Dublin, occupying derelict property, as well as the minister's own office.

Mr O Broin said the Government had failed to tackle the homelessness issue and has described the figures as a national crisis.

"Fine Gael's housing policies are not only failing to tackle the housing crisis, they are actually making things worse.

"They have been in office for seven years and during that time homelessness has reached unprecedented levels.

"During their first term of office they slashed investment in social and affordable housing and cut staffing levels in council housing departments.

"Meanwhile, the minister responsible attacks local authorities, local councillors, and opposition parties in the Dail for the failures of his Government.

Support: Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Frank McGrath
Support: Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Frank McGrath

"During his months in office, he has opted for spin over substance and, crucially, has not been willing to accept that his policies are failing.

"Minister Murphy continues to defend the indefensible.

"He is so out of touch and out of his depth that he doesn't even realise that what he is doing is making the crisis worse."

Mr Murphy said the motion of no confidence was Sinn Fein "chasing headlines" when it was first announced last week.

The motion reads: "This Dail does not have confidence in Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and calls for him to be removed from office.

"Calls on the Government to accept that Rebuilding Ireland has failed and to urgently introduce a new housing plan that will meet social and affordable housing need through an ambitious programme of public housing provision, and tackle homelessness through a greater focus on prevention and reduction of the length of time adults and children spend in emergency accommodation."

Press Association

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