'The worst possible time to end the eviction ban' - Fr McVerry

Fr McVerry said he expected plenty of "heart-wrenching" stories in the month to come.
James Wilson
James Wilson

21.10 4 Apr 2023

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'The worst possible time to en...

'The worst possible time to end the eviction ban' - Fr McVerry

James Wilson
James Wilson

21.10 4 Apr 2023

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Fr Peter McVerry has said now is “the worst possible time to end the eviction ban”. 

The eviction ban came to an end on April 1st and housing campaigners say they expect homelessness to increase sharply due to a lack of affordable homes to rent. 


“What really annoys me about the ending of the eviction ban is two things,” Fr McVerry told The Hard Shoulder. 

“First of all there is virtually no emergency accommodation available anywhere in this country. 

“The homeless emergency accommodation is chockerfull and families who have been traditionally put up in hotels while they wait for permanent accommodation [but] hotels are full and now that we’re that we’re coming into the tourist season, many hotels are reverting back to tourism. 

“This was the worst possible time to end the eviction ban.” 

Peter McVerry

The eviction ban began in October and Fr McVerry said the Government should have done more to prepare for when it came to an end. 

“During those five months when the ban was in force, the Government did not do one single thing to try and mitigate the effect of this ban,” he said. 

“They ended the ban and they said, ‘We are going to mitigate the effect of the ban by making landlords negotiate first of all with the local authority.’ 

“That requires legislation and the Government has gone on holiday now for two weeks and there’s going to be no legislation passed. 

“That legislation is going to take weeks or months to pass. If the Government intended to end the ban, why did they not pass the legislation five months ago and have it in place for the day that the eviction ban ends? 

“They did nothing to anticipate the ending of the eviction ban.”

Fr McVerry predicted there would be plenty more “heart-wrenching” stories like those of Mary - a single mother who told Newstalk the stress of looming homelessness had made her ill

“I’m in despair. I don’t see any solution,” he said. 

“We have 10,000 people at least over the next few months who are going to face homelessness and there is nothing there for them. 

“I don’t know what the Government can do.” 

Leo Varadkar and Darragh O'Brien 30/03/2023. Wicklow- Ireland. Housing Development - Archers Wood. Pictured An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien TD visit the site of a new development , Archers Wood in Delgany, Co Wicklow this morning. Photo: Sam Boal/

Yesterday, Fr McVerry told South East Radio that Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien had hoped to keep the eviction ban for a few more months but had been overruled by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. 

It was an accusation that Mr Varadkar said was "100% incorrect” and Fr McVerry said the controversy had become a “distraction” from the real issue. 

“I don’t want to get bogged down in this spat with the Taoiseach,” he said. 

“This is a distraction from the real issue - as is Eoin Ó Boin’s tweets

“These are distractions from the real issue. I can’t prove that what I’m saying is true without revealing my sources - which I won’t do. 

“The Taoiseach can’t prove that what he’s saying is true and that’s where it ends. We can’t discuss it any further.

“[It’s] my word against his word… We need to get back to focusing on the issue - where are all these people who get evicted going to go?” 

The Government expects homelessness to rise following the end of the eviction ban.

Main image: Fr Peter McVerry. Picture by: 

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