Michael Healy-Rae presses Murphy for date for planning guidelines

Independent TD chides Minister for Housing for difficulty in getting ‘straight answer’

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill


Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae expressed his frustration in the Dáil at the reluctance of Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to give the publication date of promised new statutory guidelines for planning authorities.

Mr Murphy announced in October that a technical group would look at updating national policy on apartments and would develop proposals for shared accommodation for young professionals.

Mr Healy-Rae expressed his interest in bedsits and he acknowledged to the House that in raising the issue he might “possibly have a conflict with regard to the discussion on this question”.

The Kerry TD said there is “absolutely nothing wrong with a bedsit if it is properly done”.

When the Minister said the guidelines would be published by the end of the year, Mr Healy-Rae said: “The Dáil is presumably finishing next week. Can the Minister clearly state whether the guidelines will be published for the benefit of people who wish to provide such units? Will the Minister say are you announcing the guidelines next week?”

Mr Murphy said: “We will have those details very shortly.”

Mr Healy-Rae replied: “I appreciate your response, but why is it when a person becomes a Minister they find it more difficult to give a straight answer?”

Mr Murphy said he believed “people can wait a week or two more to make sure that we can get the right guidelines out”.