The Taoiseach has denied Fr Peter McVerry’s claim he overruled objections from the Housing Minister to put an end to the eviction ban.
The ban came to an end on April 1st, with homeless charities warning the country could face a surge in homelessness as a result.
Housing charity Threshold has said it is dealing with 1,800 live cases of tenancy termination and Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has admitted “in the short-term we will probably see an increase in homelessness.”
He has insisted he believes it was the right move in weeks since the decision was announced; however, Fr Peter McVerry has said he believes the minister privately expected the ban to be extended.
“My understanding is that the Minister for Housing wanted to extend the ban and was acting in preparation for extending the ban,” Fr McVerry told South East Radio.
“But he was overridden by the Taoiseach and that’s why there was no preparation made during the five-month ban for mitigating the effects of ending the ban.”
A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said Fr McVerry’s claim was "100% incorrect and without any foundation".
Last month, Mr Varadkar described the eviction ban as an “emotive issue” but said it needed to come to an end.
“[It is a decision] that isn’t popular,” he said.
“One that is hard to defend, one that certainly isn’t going to gain any votes for the Government parties - so why would we do it?
“We think it’s the right thing to do in the medium to long-term and that’s why we’ve taken that decision.”
In February, there were 11,742 homeless people in Ireland - 12 fewer than the record high of 11,754 recorded in January.
Main image: An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien TD visit the site of a new development in Delgany, Co Wicklow. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie