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'He's had his time': Here's what the Dáil's new TDs have to say about Eoghan Murphy

Two will vote no confidence in the minister while the two new Fianna Fáil TDs will abstain.

Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward with his son Oisín.
Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward with his son Oisín.
Image: RollingNews.ie

THE FOUR NEWLY elected TDs entered the Leinster House today with tonight’s no confidence vote in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy among their first acts as representatives. 

Fianna Fáil’s Malcolm Byrne and Padraig O’Sullivan said they would abstain in the vote in line with their party’s confidence and supply agreement with the Fine Gael government.

Joe O’Brien of the Green Party and Mark Ward of Sinn Féin said they would vote no confidence in Murphy. 

“We’re supporting the motion of no confidence. I can’t think of a better reason actually to the force a general election than 3,000-4,000 homeless children,” Dublin Fingal TD O’Brien told reporters this morning. 

Despite what people might say, I actually think the electorate would be happy to have a vote on that particular issue as well. He’s had his time, the numbers are still going up. Let’s be straight about it, no confidence means no confidence. Do I have confidence in minister? Not at all, he’s had his time.

Dublin Mid-West TD Ward said he previously had to move back with his parents because he “couldn’t afford the rents that were out there”. 

“The housing policy has not worked. It’s not worked, when you’re going around the doors and you’re talking to people, you’re talking to people that have had to move back in with their parents, talking to people who are living in the box rooms of friends or families, talking to people live in hotels,” he said.

Sinn Fein party leader Mary Lou McDonald described the government’s housing policy as “a catastrophic failure”. 

The two Fianna Fáil deputies who joined the Dáil ranks today each said the government is failing on housing but that this was not the time for a general election. 

Both echoed the stance of their party leader that Easter was a more appropriate time for a general election. 

“Housing and homelessness featured very strongly on the doors. We have no, I suppose, desire to prolong to stay of the Housing Minister,” O’Sullivan said.

But as Micheál has said, there was going to be a natural conclusion to this, an election early in the new year, March, April time, there”ll be a natural conclusion to this debate and the best way is for the public to have their say on the performance of the minister.

Byrne said that Christmas was not the time for an election:

I hope it’s not decided tonight, I think after a challenge of a November election and having been on three ballot papers already this year, I don’t really want to be on a fourth just before Christmas. But I think it’s very clear and from knocking on the doors in Wexford over the last number of weeks and months on issues like housing and health and in rural Ireland’s this government does seem to have failed.

“People want a change of government, and our role over the next while is to contribute towards, you know, showing that there is an alternative in place and setting out the policy solutions to those challenges.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin reiterated his favoured timeline for the next general election:

It can’t be just about who’s in office and who’s out of office, and that policy platform across the board in terms of crime and policing, in terms of education, health and housing. And the government have failed, clearly on health and housing.

“I said earlier, a number of weeks ago that I felt that the Easter was a natural cut off point for this parliament, and that given that when stood up to the plate, we did create stability.

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Rónán Duffy

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