Independent TD Violet-Anne Wynne has withdrawn from a Dáil pairing arrangement facilitating Minister of Justice Helen McEntee’s maternity leave so that she can oppose the Government in Wednesday night’s vote on the eviction ban.
Pairing arrangements involve Opposition TDs agreeing not to vote in the Dáil to allow for the absence of Government TDs.
Fine Gael TD Ms McEntee is on maternity leave after the birth of her second child in December.
Ms Wynne, a TD for Clare, told The Irish Times that while she was in a pairing arrangement with Ms McEntee, she had “said from the outset if there was a vote on an issue that was detrimental like this one I would be informing the whip of my intention to vote.”
Sinn Féin, Ms Wynne’s former party, has tabled a Dáil motion calling for the eviction ban to be extended into 2024. Ms Wynne said she supports the extension of the ban.
The Coalition decided to allow the temporary ban to start to expire from the end of the month as planned, though some tenants will remain protected until mid-June.
Ms Wynne said she was withdrawing from the arrangement “just for Wednesday’s Dáil vote” adding it is “too important not to be present”.
She added: “As someone who is homeless I couldn’t ignore a vote that could make another family homeless.”
Last year Ms Wynne took to social media to say she and her children had been made homeless.
She said in an accompanying video: “The housing crisis is a major problem in this country and in my county of Clare,” describing how she received a notice to quit and was accommodated in a holiday home as finding hotel accommodation “was extremely difficult”.
A spokeswoman for Government Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton said “arrangements are being made” to replace Ms Wynne as a pair for Ms McEntee.
It is not clear whether there will be a pair arranged in time for Wednesday night’s vote but the Government is confident it will win the Dáil vote.
The vote is set to be on a Government counter motion which sets out the measures that have been taken to increase housing supply and plans to help tenants and landlords.