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Sinn Féin to table motion of no confidence in housing minister, but Fianna Fáil won't support it

At the party think-in in Cavan, the Sinn Fein leader said the party will put down a motion of no confidence in the coming weeks.

Eoghan Murphy and Mary Lou McDonald
Eoghan Murphy and Mary Lou McDonald

SINN FÉIN WILL table a motion of no confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy in the coming weeks, according to Mary Lou McDonald.

However, Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin has said his party won’t support it. 

Speaking to her party members at this year’s think-in in Cavan, the Sinn Féin president said it will be “decision time for the government and for Fianna Fáil”.

“Does the government and Fianna Fáil stand over the Minister and his appalling record or do they stand with us and say it’s time to go? Do they stand with the people or not,” she said this morning.

“We have 10,000 people homeless, the population of Longford town homeless,  on his watch and things are getting worse.

“This is a national crisis. This is a scandal. It is time to call a halt. It is time for the Minister to go,” said McDonald, with her words sparking applauds from the crowd.

The motion of no confidence, which indicates the political will within the Dáil to pursue certain issues, places pressure on Fianna Fáil to either support the government, or go against them, risking a collapse in the current set-up. Fianna Fáil’s pledge to support a Fine Gael minority government is due to end after the next Budget in October.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke programme, Martin said he had an obligation to support the government on certain issues as part of confidence and supply.

When asked about whether his party would support the Sinn Féin motion, he said: 

No. I’ve said this before the summer. Motions of no confidence are not going to build a single house. We’re going to focus on the budget to get a priortisation around housing.

This is not the first time that Sinn Féin has threatened to put down a motion of no confidence in the housing minister. 

The threat of a motion of no confidence was raised after earlier this year when Murphy was criticised over his handling of the homelessness crisis and the government’s efforts to tackle the housing shortage.

But it was announced at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in June that the party would drop the motion of no confidence in Murphy.

In her address today, McDonald said Murphy “is failing and out of touch”.

“Sinn Féin would make the difference in housing. The policy of this government is failing the homeless, failing those renting and those who strive to own a home. We now have a generation of workers who will never afford to own a home,” she added. 

Speaking to the media in Cavan, McDonald said Fianna Fáil have sat on their laurels and kept Fine Gael in government.

“Shame on Micheál Martin. Shame on Fianna Fáil,” she said.

Stay with @TJ_Politics  for all the latest from the Sinn Féin think-in in Cavan.

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