- 14 Mar 23
The proposed motion extends the eviction ban until the end of January 2024.
Mary Lou McDonald has announced that Sinn Féin plan to move a motion in the Dáil on Tuesday, March 21st to extend the eviction ban until the beginning of next year.
As reported by the Irish Examiner, the motion is designed to apply fresh pressure on the Government as Green Party TDs Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello have made public calls for a moratorium on upcoming evictions.
The debate is scheduled for next Tuesday, in time for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and other travelling ministers to have returned home following the St.Patrick’s day festivities.
As the motion has been issued by the Government’s main opposition party, it will force a Dáil vote on the matter, resulting in renewed criticism for the Government, and tension within the Coalition.
Ms McDonald spoke to reporters in New York on Monday night, stating she “absolutely appreciates” that the ban on evictions “is not in and of itself the answer to our housing crisis".
She said that her party appreciates it can’t be a “permanent feature”, whilst acknowledging that it is “irresponsible” of the Government to take away measures that protect vulnerable renters.
The Sinn Féin leader also informed reporters that she had written to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, encouraging him to reverse his decision on the eviction ban, as well as placing the responsibility upon him to inform the thousands of families facing eviction where to go next.
“I think common decency has to prevail here, common sense has to prevail here, and both of those things mean a reversal of the Government decision," said Ms McDonald.
“Our proposal is to extend the eviction ban to the end of January 2024.”
She has also explained that the focus should now be on the issue of emergency accommodation, considering there is “simply no room for people if they should fall homeless".
“It's very clear that the Government has not put in place any mitigating measures or any plan and can't answer the very simple, straightforward question of where do these families go,” she said.
Ms McDonald and her party have set out proposals on buildings that lay vacant or derelict, as well as plans to speed up the system in terms of procurement and delivery of housing.