Sinn Féin brings forward legislation to extend eviction ban until next year despite Dáil defeat

Eoin Ó Broin. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Gabija Gataveckaite

Sinn Féin have brought forward legislation to extend the eviction ban until the end of January, despite the party’s motion on the matter being defeated in the Dáil yesterday.

The law being brought forward is identical Government’s own legislation which put the eviction ban in place until the end of this month, apart from the date.

It is understood the party’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin also wants to see an amendment which would allow landlords to get their properties back if they are facing homelessness.

The party does not have time to make this amendment before the eviction ban expires and did not bring the law forward this week, instead of the Dáil motion, as TDs weren't sure if the legislation would be ready.

Asked if bringing forward the law is a waste of time, Mr Ó Broin said: “I’m just an eternal optimist.

“We’re giving it one last chance and letting [the Government] have their say.”

He said the Oireachtas bills office has only just greenlighted the legislation and that is why Sinn Féin was bringing it forward next week, as the eviction ban is about to lapse.

“I’ve been working on the bill for about four weeks. Getting legislation through the bills office and onto the order paper takes a long time,” Mr Ó Broin said.

“Do I think it’s a waste of time? I don’t.

“Every single thing I can do between now and March 31, I will do, as will our colleagues, because this issue is too serious.”

Mr Ó Broin also indicated Sinn Féin would vote no confidence in the Government next week, in favour of the Labour Party’s motion.

“I’ve never had confidence in this Government. As often as I can when I get the chance, I will vote no confidence in this Government,” he said.

Sinn Féin’s Dáil motion seeking to extend the eviction ban was carried yesterday but the Green Party suspended TD Neasa Hourigan for failing to vote with the Government on the matter.