From top: Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
In the Dáil.
During Leaders’ Questions.
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald spoke about homelessness and raised her party’s pending motion of no confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy which will be debated at 8pm.
Ms McDonald called Taoiseach Leo Varadkar “delusional”.
“Taoiseach, I can only surmise that you’re delusional…you seem to believe that everything is ok, that you’re on track…despite the facts, not opinions, not speculation, the facts – that homelessness has risen. That houses prices rise, that rents are out of control and beyond the reach of even people at work.
“You seem to be entirely immune to the fact that people are now taking to the streets and taking direct action, to give voice to the anger and, in fact, the desperation that they feel.
“You’re plans are not working, your minister has failed and is failing in his duty to the tens of thousands of people on housing lists to the ten thousand people who are homeless, to the children that I referred to earlier, who will sleep tonight and the next night, and the night after, and the night after that, in emergency accommodation.
“And by the way, we make no claim to have a monopoly on empathy but we certainly on these benches have plenty of exposure to those families and those very real, despite experiences and yet you are immune to them and delusional. Because you stand up as head of Government and you claim that you’re plan is working and that Fianna Fail assists you in that regard.
“You have failed, your minister is failing and on behalf of the people at the weekend who came out, desperate people, desperate people, with real stories, they want an answer from you and they want someone held to account and I suggest to you again Taoiseach that the person to be held to account in the first instance is Minister Eoghan Murphy.”
Mr Varadkar responded:
“We all know what this is about. The Dáil is back, Sinn Féin is looking to score political points so they put down a motion, a motion that is just pure politics. A motion that is just pure politics, tactical, cynical, personalised and ineffective. And there’s one thing that’s absolutely certain.
“There’s one thing that’s absolutely certain. The Sinn Féin motion put down tonight, if passed, will not house a single person. Nor will it help us to build houses any quicker than we are already. And this is all we have from Sinn Féin – oppositional politics, cynical politics, personal politics. They don’t really care about people who are homeless. They don’t really care about people on the housing list.
“They don’t really care about young couples who are struggling to buy for the first time. That’s why they put forward no solutions. When they put forward solutions, they’re solutions that don’t work. All over the country, all over the country, when they can help, all over the country, when they can help, their councillors vote down social housing.
“Whether it’s in South Dublin or whether it’s in the North Inner City…This is the truth of Sinn Féin.”
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