Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, has today called on Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael Cork City councillors to explain why they last night blocked a debate on the lifting of the eviction ban.
Teachta Gould said:
“At an emergency meeting of Cork City Council last night, Sinn Féin councillors put forward a motion calling for the reinstatement of the eviction ban.
“Instead of allowing this debate to happen, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael – with the support of the Ard Mhéara – blocked the motion and refused to even allow the meeting to happen.
“I firmly believe they did this because they knew they could not stand over a decision that places 975 families and individuals in Cork at risk of homelessness.
“In the Tanaiste’s own city, councillors from his own party couldn’t defend this heartless decision.
“The decision, made by Cork government TDs to back the lifting of the eviction ban, spells disaster for nearly a thousand individuals and families, many of whom will be forced to leave their home in the coming weeks and months. Local Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors cannot hide from the decisions of their party.
“Sinn Fein has contacted Cork City Council as we believe this decision was in direct breach of standing orders.
“Refusing to allow democratic debate in the Council Chamber is unacceptable, especially on an issue that has such grave consequences for so many. There was an agenda for the meeting and it was completely disregarded by councillors, who were eager to avoid accountability from the public.
“The agenda included discussing figures provided by Cork City Council to Councillors. This includes the shocking statistic that only three tenant in-situ purchases have been completed.
“The Council has not yet provided figures on the number of emergency beds available for families and individuals. The Council’s website is still clear that they are awaiting further detail on the Cost Rental Backstop. The government’s so-called safety net is invisible in Cork City and the public deserve accountability on this.
“I want to be very clear; 975 families and individuals in Cork city face eviction because of this government.
“Sinn Féin will continue to fight tooth and nail to prevent these evictions, locally and nationally. It is not too late for the government to show compassion. They should change their minds and reinstate the eviction ban.”