Sinn Féin does not understand complexity of homeless crisis, says Murphy

Minister for Housing says SF should put forward their ‘non-existent housing plan’

Minister for Housing, Planning  and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

 

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has accused Sinn Féin of “playing politics” and failing to understand the complexities of the homeless crisis following the party’s decision to table a motion of no confidence in his position.

In a tweet posted on Tuesday morning, Mr Murphy wrote: “@sinnfeinireland think a one-line piece of legislation can solve the homeless crisis. They don’t understand how complex it is and are playing politics. If they really believed what they said they’d spend time seeking to get the law changed, not looking for a head.”

The Minister posted late on Monday night that he remained “committed and more determined than ever to working with all involved in the sector as we continue to implement our plans and do everything possible to deliver more homes for families across Ireland”.

An earlier tweet challenged Sinn Féin to “put forward their non-existent housing plan” rather than “wasting time and trying to grab headlines”.

Mr Murphy told The Irish Times that Sinn Féin had posited a motion of no confidence to him “on a number of occasions”.

“They do it to get attention for themselves and to get headlines. We are in a minority Government situation, so Sinn Féin should spend their time between now and Dáil coming back getting the majority of parliament to back their big housing plan. The reason they are not doing that is because they do not have one,” said Mr Murphy.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald confirmed on Monday that her party would table a motion of no confidence in Mr Murphy when the Dáil returns later this month.

Ms McDonald attacked the Government’s record on housing and homelessness and described the situation as a national crisis and a scandal.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland Ms McDonald said she did not accept that her party’s motion of no confidence would be defeated and that there were strong feelings within Leinster House that the Government’s position on housing and homelessness was untenable.

People experiencing homelessness are “scratching their heads in wonder at the level of disconnect” between the Government and their “lived realities”, she said, adding that raising a motion of no confidence was Sinn Féin’s way of showing that the Government’s policies were failing.

When asked about Sinn Féin’s ambitions to be in Government while both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are adamant they will not hold discussions with the party, she said Micheál Martin was running the risk of “being left talking to himself”.

The Fianna Fáil leader said on Monday that motions do not build houses when asked if his party would support the Sinn Féin motion of no confidence.

Mr Martin said that Fianna Fáil had “stepped up to the plate” to provide the country with stability before admitting that he and his party had been “disgusted with the failures on housing and health” and the growing divide between the rest of the country and the eastern seaboard.