Friday 21 September 2018

Sinn Féin holds back on no confidence vote over Murphy's record

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has been criticised
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has been criticised
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Sinn Féin has refused to say if or when it will table a motion of no confidence in Eoghan Murphy, despite the party's sustained criticism of the minister's handling of the housing and homelessness crisis.

The party has hinted at a potential Dáil confidence vote on Mr Murphy amid rising homeless figures that have seen the numbers in emergency accommodation approach 10,000.

The move could spark an election if Fianna Fáil felt compelled to support it due to its own increasing criticism of the Government's record on housing.

But despite saying that "time is running out" for Mr Murphy and he is in "the last chance saloon", Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin refused to say when the party would strike. He denied Sinn Féin feared a confidence motion would spark an election, insisting that his party has been calling for an election for months.

Challenged on why the party doesn't take the opportunity to trigger one, he said: "Because we want the minister to change direction because we think if he does and he does it quickly he could make a real difference."

Mr Ó Broin criticised Fine Gael and Fianna Fail records on housing and pointed to the rising homeless numbers in his remarks about Mr Murphy.

He said: "Are we considering a motion of no confidence now? No, we're not.

"Is that something we may consider if the figures continue to go in the wrong direction in the coming months? Yes, it is something we will consider."

Irish Independent

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