Sinn Féin TD for Limerick, Maurice Quinlivan, has called on Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael Limerick councillors to explain why they blocked a debate today on the lifting of the eviction ban.
Teachta Quinlivan said:
“At an emergency meeting of Limerick City and County Council today, Sinn Féin councillors along with a Social Democrat and an independent councillor 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 Mayor – 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 hundreds of families and individuals in Limerick at risk of homelessness.
“In the Minister for state for housing’s own city, councillors from his own party couldn’t defend this heartless decision.
“The decision, made by Limerick government TDs to back the lifting of the eviction ban, spells disaster for over 400 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 Féin has expressed our concerns to Limerick City and County 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 special meeting was called to discuss the plans that Limerick Council would have in place to address the ending of the no-fault eviction ban.
“The council has not yet provided figures on the number of emergency beds available for families and individuals. The government’s so-called safety net is invisible in Limerick and the public deserve accountability on this.
“I want to be very clear; 400 families and individuals in Limerick 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.”