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SF's Eoin Ó Broin accuses Taoiseach of 'downright lies' amid Dáil ructions

The dispute took place during Leaders’ Questions today.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

SINN FÉIN’S EOIN Ó Broin TD has reluctantly withdrawn a claim that Taoiseach Micheál Martin was “lying” in the Dáil following the intervention of Ceann Comhairle Sean Ó Fearghail. 

The dispute took place during Leaders’ Questions today which focused on the issue of housing following the release of the latest Daft.ie rental report

The report revealed that rents were up nationally by 10% in the past year amid a record shortage of the number of properties available. 

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald TD accused the government of “making a bad situation worse” and said the government had done ”zilch, nada” for renters in last year’s Budget.

Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, she said, had “made homeownership a pipe-dream for an entire generation”.

A government rent cap is a “failure,” she said, adding that there had been a failure to deal with institutional investors and cuckoo funds.

An entire generation, she said, feels “battered, bruised, exhausted and sold-out”.

In reply, Martin said that “we cannot wish away the basic laws of supply and demand” and accused Sinn Féin of “‘objecting to various projects on an ongoing basis”. 

“If we restrict supply, the rents will go up. As sure as night follows day. We need supply and what we do not need is serial objections as your party have,” Martin said. 

The Taoiseach then accused Sinn Féin of “objecting to 6,000 houses”, to which Ó Broin interjected to say this was “not true”. 

“Dishonesty on the floor of the OIreachtas from the Taoiseach, the party who objects to the most housing in this State is Fianna Fáil. I’m fed up with this Taoiseach lying about what Sinn Féin councillors are doing, they are downright lies,” the Dublin Mid-West said, prompting Ó Fearghail to stand up out of his chair.

Ceann Comhairle: It is not acceptable to accuse any member of the house of lying, I would ask you to withdraw that.

Deputy Ó Broin: I would absolutely not withdraw it, it’s dishonest. 

Ceann Comhairle: Please withdraw the accusation of lying, it is out of order. 

Deputy Ó Broin: The Taoiseach is misleading the house

Ceann Comhairle: Are you substituting it for misleading the house? 

Deputy Ó Broin: I’m more than happy to substitute willingly mislead the house, for lying. It’s the same thing Taoiseach. 

Cuckoo funds

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PastedImage-74931 Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy Source: Oireachtas.ie

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD also raised the issue of housing, with Ó Fearghail asking her “can you restore some order?”

Murphy said to the Taoiseach: 

What do you have to say to workers and their families today who are desperately trying to save to buy their own home? You can hardly tell them to stop complaining or to shop around. Cuckoo funds are outbidding household buyers buy as much as 32%, paying on average €105,000 per property more than a household buyer. Ordinary workers can shop around for an eternity cut increasingly they feel that they’re chasing shadows. 

“Do you ever question that you could be getting this wrong?,” she said,

“Fianna Fail have got it wrong before. Do you ever question that you’re talking to the wrong people?”

Murphy said that she had warned for years of the need for a massive social housing programme.

“I’m sick to death of predicting things that turn out to be right,” she added.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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