March 12, 2024
Government’s failure to support solid fuel homes putting older people’s lives at risk – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action and the Environment, Darren O’Rourke TD, has urged the Government to reform its regressive retrofit scheme and to adopt Sinn Féin’s measures to specifically target supports at solid fuel homes. 

Commenting on new research published by the Journal of Energy Research and Social Science, which found that open fires are strongly linked to respiratory diseases, the Meath East TD said: 

“This new research makes it plain that the government’s retrofit scheme is not fit for purpose. It continues to only prioritise those with the most means and completely overlooks those who need it most.

“Today’s news makes a clear case yet again for Sinn Féin’s alternative proposals. Amongst mounting evidence, I am calling on the government to stop shirking them. 

“The article points out in stark terms that older Irish people who use an open fire as the main means of heating their homes are much more likely to have a respiratory disease than those who don’t.

“And while those with solid fuel homes are also linked to higher health risks, those with open fires are almost twice as likely to have respiratory diseases. 

“Unlike the government who have absolutely zero measures to address solid fuels home specifically, Sinn Féin has repeatedly called for targeted measures as part of our Fairer Retrofit Plan

“After all, these homes are often the poorest and most carbon intensive. Moreover, they are also much more likely to be located rurally and are much more common in households aged over 50.

“We in Sinn Féin are interested in a just transition for all, however this government seems content to leave many ordinary workers and families behind.”

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