Sinn Féin TD for Cork South-Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has said that Fine Gael are continuing their efforts to normalise homelessness by refusing to change their failing policies.
Addressing the Taoiseach at Leaders’ Questions today, Deputy Ó Laoghaire said;
“Taoiseach, Conor Lynch of Threshold told of the experience of one renter in Cork.
“She was six months pregnant when she explained the situation to her landlady.
“The landlady told her that she would have to leave before the baby arrived. Her excuse was that the neighbours in the apartments ‘wouldn’t like the crying’.
“She waited until late in her pregnancy to tell the landlady because she was afraid of what the reaction might be.
“Can you even begin to imagine the stress that such heartlessness would have on that woman?
“She is far from alone.
“She ended up moving into homeless accommodation with her new-born baby.
“This is not an isolated case, and another incident of a pregnant woman who was living in private rental accommodation where a new baby was not wanted has been recounted.
“Taoiseach, does this not illustrate the depths of the crisis facing renters under your Governments housing policies?
“I think that the ten and a half thousand people who are now homeless, deserve better than what we saw on the floor of the Dáil last night.
“Last night was an opportunity to start from scratch and do the right thing; accept the system is broken, the policy isn’t working and to start fresh.
“But you didn’t. You wasted that opportunity. You backed your man to the hilt. Your normalisation of homelessness continues.
“To add insult to injury, you even bussed in the absentee TD for Cork North Central – for one night only mind you, as we hear this morning that Deputy Daragh Murphy has resigned his seat directly after casting his vote of confidence in Minister Murphy.
“Fianna Fáil and Mícheál Martin have now clearly shown they also are on the side of Fine Gael instead of homeless families.
“10,514 people are homeless, including nearly 4,000 children. Record numbers all the time.
“These are children who will have to wait for Santa in B&Bs and family hubs.
“In light of last night’s figures and the swathe of evidence in front of us, you must change the direction of your housing policies.
“It’s time for you to get your head out of the sand and to heed the solutions put forward by Sinn Féin and implement an immediate 3-year rent freeze.”