Michael Staines
Michael Staines

08.20 4 Dec 2019


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The Peter McVerry Trust has warned that changing the nameplate on the Minister’s office will not solve the homeless crisis.

It comes after the Government survived a motion of no confidence in the Minister Eoghan Murphy last night.

The Social Democrats tabled the motion over his handling of the housing crisis; however, it was defeated 56 votes to 53 after a lengthy debate last night.

Independent TDs Noel Grealish, Michael Lowry and Denis Naughten voted with the government.

It means the prospect of a Christmas election has been avoided.

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust, said changing the nameplate on the Ministers office is not the answer.

“We need to reduce the amount of families that need emergency accommodation,” he said.

“Having votes of no confidence and changing ministers a number of months before a general election just wouldn’t do anything.

“Everybody knows that when you change a minister in any department, the first thing they do is order a review. Immediately send everybody off looking for figures and facts and doing reports and statements on where the current situation is.

“We know where the current situation is.”

During the debate, the Taoiseach claimed the move was a stunt aimed at drumming up coverage ahead of the by-elections.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy said the minister’s time was up.

“Regardless of any of your election timing arguments, we have no option but to say that we absolutely have no confidence in you,” she said.

“We will not only seek this motion to be passed but we are asking you to resign.

“Our society can no longer afford you and indeed our society can no longer afford Fine Gael.”

The debate was happening as new Government figures showed the number of people accessing homeless services rose by 117 in October.

The 10,514 people in emergency accommodation included 6,688 adults and 3,826 children.

The overall figure has been above 10,000 for nine months.

The Housing Minister accused Deputy Murphy of attacking his record even though she spoke out against plans to build social housing in her own constituency.

“The greatest crime in public life is to say one thing in public and do another,” he said. “And this debate is full of hypocrisies.”

“Sinn Féin will be supporting the motion although when it first came out they called it a stunt. They should know what a stunt looks like when it comes to housing.”

It is the second time Minister Murphy has survived a motion of no confidence, after Sinn Féin tried to have him removed last year.


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Eoghan Murphy Father Peter McVerry Fine Gael Homeless Homeless Crisis Peter McVerry Peter McVerry Trust

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