Labour to support motion of no confidence in Ireland´s…


The Labour Party has confirmed it will support a motion of no confidence in Ireland’s housing minister Eoghan Murphy.

Alan Kelly said the housing crisis had escalated under Mr Murphy’s watch.

“This is really about confidence in the Government, it’s bigger than Eoghan Murphy,” Mr Kelly said.

“It’s not about the individual, we don’t believe he’s doing a good job but there is collective Cabinet responsibility.”

The housing minister faces a vote of no confidence in Dail Eireann on Tuesday evening.

The motion targeting Mr Murphy has been tabled by Sinn Fein after months of debate about homelessness and a Government response which campaigners believe is inadequate.

Mr Kelly said the vote was about whether they had confidence in the Government to solve the housing situation.

“The answer is no we don’t,” he said.

The Tipperary TD added that there had been an awful lot of ribbon cutting but that in reality the Government’s actions had not generated the volume of housing required.

Sinn Fein’s housing spokesman Eoin O’Broin said the purpose of the motion was to put pressure on the Government.

Mr O’Broin was joined by party colleagues outside the gates of Leinster House to highlight the homeless crisis.

The party representatives held up large posters making up the number 10,000 to mark the almost 10,000 people who are now homeless across the state.

That figure includes almost 4,000 children.

Mr O’Broin told RTE Radio One that the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland programme was not working.

The Government’s action plan seeks to increase the overall supply of new homes to 25,000 per annum by 2020.

Speaking on the same programme, Mr Murphy called the Sinn Fein motion irresponsible.

He said Sinn Fein had an opportunity to bring forward proposals for alternative housing solutions to help the situation but had failed to do so.

“Nowhere in their motion do they mention one thing they would do differently,” Mr Murphy said.

“If you are a young couple earning a good salary and can’t afford to buy a home and don’t understand why, or if you are paying a rent that’s pinning you to your collar.

“If you’re a family waking up in emergency accommodation this morning, this motion will do absolutely nothing for you. That’s why it’s a stunt and, more than that, it’s incredibly irresponsible.”

Fianna Fail has committed to abstaining on the vote.

The party’s housing spokesman Darragh O’Brien said the party was being “responsible” by doing so and that now was not the right time to have a general election.

“I’ve put forward alternatives, I’ve put forward legislation,” Mr O’Brien told RTE.

“I’ve put affordable housing and my party at the centre of these budget negotiations and we want to see it delivered.”

Meanwhile, Mr Murphy said he hoped to meet with his colleague, minister of state Catherine Byrne, ahead of the vote.

Ms Byrne refused to confirm or deny on Monday whether she was considering voting against her party colleague.

Mr Murphy said he did not know what her position was but he hoped that she would not be pulled into what he called a Sinn Fein “stunt”.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that if Ms Byrne did not vote confidence in the minister, she could no longer continue as a minister herself.

Earlier this year Ms Byrne publicly opposed a new housing scheme in her constituency Dublin South Central at its launch.


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