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Rebel Green TDs expected to vote against Sinn Féin motion on eviction ban


Green Party TDs Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello.

Green Party TDs Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello.

Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan

Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan

Green Party TD Patrick Costello (Photo: Collins)

Green Party TD Patrick Costello (Photo: Collins)


Green Party TDs Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello.

Rebel Green TDs are not expected to vote against the Government in a Sinn Féin motion on extending the eviction ban.

The Government is set to face the motion shortly after the Dáil comes back from St Patrick’s Day recess, with a vote to be held possibly on March 21.

However, rebel Green Party TDs Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello are not expected to vote against the Government.

The motion, which is not legally binding, would not mean an extension of the eviction ban even if it passes the Dáil.

It is not expected Mr Costello will vote against the Government on the motion, even though he has voted with Sinn Féin on a motion to relocate the new National Maternity Hospital.

Neasa Hourigan has said she is “well capable” of voting against the Government but said an opposition motion is unlikely to overturn the ban.

Ms Hourigan also previously voted against the Government on the relocation of the new hospital as well as a bill on renters’ rights.

She told RTÉ’s Late Debate: “We are unlikely to see a vote that would be meaningful to overturn it.”

She said she would be in favour of a vote on the eviction ban in the Dáil.

The Government is facing backlash its decision to not extend the ban on evictions when it is due to expire at the end of this month.

Earlier in the Dáil, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin rounded on Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty and accused his party of hypocrisy on housing generally and their opposition to end the eviction ban.

Mr Martin said Sinn Féin opposed three national schemes to help people buy homes and in local councils they had also opposed many specific housing schemes.

“You are playing ‘Tadhg an dá thaobh’ - (Tadhg of both sides) - on this. You are arguing both sides on this – coming in here delivering populist sound bites,” the Tánaiste said.

There were angry scenes during the debate with Dáil chairman, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, intervening twice and telling Pearse Doherty to have respect for his office. Eventually Mr Ó Fearghaíl threatened to suspend proceedings.

Mr Doherty accused the Tánaiste of delivering “a four-minute diatribe” and for the second consecutive day avoiding a direct answer to a simple question.

The Sinn Féin deputy leader cited a letter from South Dublin County Council to a party colleague, Deputy Mark Ward. This letter following representations on behalf of a family with two children now threatened with eviction and he said the council said they had no accommodation to offer.

“Your constituent should present to a garda station and ask for a safe place to stay,” Mr Doherty cited the council as replying.

“You have failed to answer my direct question: where are these individuals going to?” he asked Mr Martin several times. He added that there would be thousands of such cases in the coming months.

Mr Martin said three measures will be put in place to provide in excess of 3,000 extra homes. Local authorities will be directed to buy 1,500 more homes; these councils will also be told to lease an extra 1,000 homes; landlords will also be obliged to give the first purchase option to their tenants, and failing that to an approved housing authority.

The Fianna Fáil leader said the real answer was providing more houses. Last year 30,000 new homes were built and supply of social housing was at its highest since 1975.

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