- 31 Jan 20
With the General Election 2020 just over a week away, we continue our series in which musicians tell us who they’ll be voting for – and why. For Claire Kinsella of Lemoncello, housing is a major priority.
What has shocked me most, in my time living in Dublin over the last year or so, is the harrowing housing crisis. The current Fine Gael government, which is propped up by Fianna Fáil, stands over a shocking record on housing.
In the past year, it is estimated that 222 people in Ireland have died due to lack of housing. Over Christmas, more than 10,500 people were living in emergency accommodation, including 4,000 children. A huge number of young adults are forced to live at home well into their twenties and thirties, in order to have any hope of saving for a mortgage.
As well as this, studies show that Irish people spend more of their wages on rent than people in any other country. Homelessness is not ‘normal’, as Leo Varadkar proclaims. It is not radical to think that we could end homelessness in this country, as has been achieved recently by Finland. But this is not going to happen without TD’s in the Dáil who are passionate for change.
For my own part, I am essentially working three jobs to live here. I’m an Irish teacher, a full-time masters student, and spend my evenings and weekends recording, playing gigs and doing admin-work for the band, to pursue this work I love.
Due to being from the largely-ignored county of Donegal, it has been impossible for me to make it home in time to vote – so I have moved my vote down here. I’m currently living in Dublin West.
I’ll be voting to re-elect Solidarity/PBP TD, Ruth Coppinger.
She was in the forefront of the movement to Repeal the 8th Amendment, and helped to achieve the provision for terminations up to 12 weeks on request. She is calling for massive public investment in public housing, achievable through taxation of the billionaires and multinationals that are hoarding the wealth in Ireland. She is also calling for real rent controls and an end to economic evictions .
Also, the programme she puts forward on climate change is drastic and could make an impact. She calls to ban imported fracked gas, and to publicly fund free and expanded public transport, which – more than carbon taxes – would drastically reduce the need for people to drive privately-owned cars to and from work.
I’d encourage people to read and question the policies of the candidates running in their constituencies, and to always be mindful of the history of the establishment parties in this country.