Sinn Féin 'bordering on communism' with housing approach - McGrath

"Are we going to give any rights to people who own property? I know what Sinn Féin are at"
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.31 21 Mar 2023

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Sinn Féin 'bordering on commun...

Sinn Féin 'bordering on communism' with housing approach - McGrath

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.31 21 Mar 2023

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Sinn Féin is 'bordering on communism' with its approach to housing, Mattie McGrath has said.

The Independent TD for Tipperary said he cannot vote with the Government to end the eviction ban, but he 'can't stomach' Sinn Féin's motion either.

A vote will take place in the Dáil on Wednesday.


Deputy McGrath told The Hard Shoulder Government plans to offer more supports in the budget is not soon enough.

"They've had 11/12 years now to build houses and provide homes," he said.

"We have more housing reports than we have had hot dinners; and here [are being told] we're going to have measures that will help renters, first-time buyers and will help small renters.

"The budget is in October: they've seen the figures that tens of thousands of small tenants, landlords have left the market.

"They're being priced out of it, taxed out of it, no supports".

'Political opportunism'

Deputy McGrath said the Government is making 'empty promises'.

"The eviction ban isn't something I like as a tool, it's probably unconstitutional," he said.

"We have nine amendments - obviously none of our amendments will be voted on if the Government's counter-motion is taken first.

"The Government are gung-ho about this; they want business as usual and they want to make empty promises, look after the big...companies who have multiple thousands of units".

The Dáil Chamber at Leinster House. Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland The Dáil Chamber at Leinster House. Picture by: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

However he said Sinn Féin is using 'political opportunism' with its motion.

"So what it is [is] grandstanding by Sinn Féin, political opportunism of the worst type using these vulnerable people," he said.

"I hate abstaining, because I like to be present at votes one way or another, but I'm minded to abstain.

"I don't want a slippery slope here".

'Bordering on communism'

Deputy McGrath said some people living abroad, who brought a property to come home to, "can't get people out of their houses."

"Are we going to give any rights to people who own property?

"I know what Sinn Féin are at: this is bordering on communism, that people haven't the rights over their own property.

"It's opening the gates for their next plan from [Housing Spokesperson] Eoin Ó Broin... ideas that people's property would be seized and be given out to free to people.

"This is the kind of policies that are abhorrent to me".

How will he vote?

Deputy McGrath said he cannot vote with the Government as they "did nothing, sat on their hands" in the last six months.

"Now they're promising 'X, Y and Z' - but I know it's like the snow off a ditch: it'll melt and be gone by the end of the week.

"The Taoiseach today told the Dáil that if the [Sinn Féin] motion was to succeed, that it wasn't binding on the Government to accept it and he wouldn't accept it.

"The eviction ban is going to go anyway".

Asked how he will vote on Wednesday, Deputy McGrath said: "One is bad and the other is worse.

"I definitely won't be supporting the Government, but will I even support the Sinn Féin motion: I have no stomach for it.

"It's going down the road of their policies; we know the little red book they operate from, we know where they're going.

"They've no interest in ordinary people getting [and] building people houses, they've an interest in fear politics and hysteria," he added.

Listen back to the full interview below:

Main image: Independent TD Mattie McGrath arrives at Leinster House in September 2017. Picture by: Leah Farrell/

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Dáil Vote Eviction Ban Housing Independent TD For Tipperary Mcgrath Political Opportunism Sinn Fein The Hard Shoulder

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