Three Ministers take no part in meeting on housing crisis in their Dublin constituency

Only one in four Dublin West TDs attended online event addressing the rising number of eviction notices, Airbnb lettings and the Housing Assistance Payment, among other issues

Three Government ministers did not participate in an online Dublin West constituency meeting on Monday night addressing the local housing and accommodation crisis.

According to the campaign group Uplift, which organised the virtual town hall event, local TD Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told them he was unavailable.

However, Minister of State for Transport Jack Chambers and Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman did not respond to the request, the group said. The meeting did hear from Sinn Féin’s Paul Donnelly, the fourth Dublin West TD.

The hour-long exchange addressed various aspects of the housing crisis, including the rising number of eviction notices, Airbnb lettings and the Housing Assistance Payment (Hap), among others.


A spokesman for Mr O’Gorman said he was attending an EU Council of Ministers meeting in Luxembourg. Mr Chambers could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr Donnelly said his office was now hearing from two to three people a week who had received notices to quit, or eviction notices, since the lifting of the ban.

“People are deeply, deeply worried, and I’m certainly very worried, certainly when you come into the office and you hear [about] another notice to quit,” he said.

“It just fills you with dread that there’s very little that we can do except make sure the landlord has followed the rules.”

He said trauma from such experiences would play out in the future. “There’s a lot of children, particularly, who are hearing their parents totally distressed, upset and fearful for the future.”

Dr Rory Hearne, Assistant Professor in Social Policy at Maynooth University, told the meeting that there were now at least eight times the amount of Airbnb properties being advertised generally than those available for long-term leasing.

He also said that in the first three months of the year, a further 4,500 eviction notices had been issued, bringing the total to 15,000 over a 12-month period.

A contributor named Eileen inquired about affordable rents, saying she was concerned she might be evicted “at some stage”.

“I’m older and at some stage I’m going to have to give up one of my jobs at least; I have two so I can manage and one of them will have to go as I get too old,” she said.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times