Sinn Féin councillors continue to protest against the lift of eviction ban

Fingal Cllrs walk out of meeting; Ballyfermot-Drimnagh Cllr calls for DCC to host Special Meeting

by Rose Barrett
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Sinn Féin has continued to push for the government to do a U-turn on the cessation of the eviction ban.

The Sinn Féin Fingal team of Cllrs Angela Donnelly, Breda Hanaphy, Ann Graves and Natalie Treacy left the council chamber in frustration on Monday last as Mayor Howard Mahoney refused a motion twice, and were later followed by Cllr Dean Mulligan (14C) and Cllr Tania Doyle (Ind).

The motion read: “To address the catastrophic impact on the residents of Fingal – this council condemns the government’s decision to end the eviction ban and calls on the Minister to extend the ban on evictions until the end of the year.”

The Mayor stated that it did not meet the criteria to qualify as an emergency motion. When an amended motion was re-submitted under the Chief Executive’s report, he again refused to accept the motion siting that it did not meet the criteria a second time yet allowed other councillors to discuss the issue under the Chief Executive’s Report.

Cllr Ann Graves SF and Mayor Howard Mahony had a heated exchange during the council meeting

A heated exchange occurred between the Mayor and Cllr Ann Graves (above)

The eviction ban is due to be lifted on April 1 next; according to the Residential Tenancies Board, there were 4741 notices to quit served, in the third quarter of last year, the highest number per quarter ever issued.

“Now, if the eviction ban goes ahead, these notices will take effect from April 1,” said Cllr Angela Donnelly (below). “Where will these people go, where can they go? On Daft earlier this week there were five houses to rent in D15, three of which are over €3,000 a month and 14 in the rest of Fingal, four of which were over €4,000 a month with one renting for an eye watering €6,000!”

Cllr Anglea Donnelly SF

Midweek, the Sinn Féin Group on Dublin City Council called for a Special City Council meeting to debate the crisis and the impending lift of the eviction ban. 

Cllr Daithí Doolan, SF housing spokesperson for Dublin, said:

“The decision by the government to end the eviction ban will be a disaster for Dublin. It is essential that Minister for Housing immediately reverses the decision. 

“We have written to the Lord Mayor requesting she convenes a Special City Council meeting to debate and agree a motion calling on the Government to extend the ban on evictions until the end of the year.

“This government must stop punishing vulnerable people for the housing crisis. Homeless services are already over stretched – the ending of the ban will put these services under further pressure,” he said. 

“Instead, this government should be focusing now on reforming the overly bureaucratic procurement process and provide funding for a public housing building programme to meet the housing needs of Dublin.”

Cllr Daithi Doolan SF is calling on DCC to host a special meeting on the lifting of the eviction ban

Previously, Cllr Doolan stated that Minister O’Brien claimed local authorities were simply not buying enough houses on the private market under the tenant-in-situ scheme. 

“This is classic deflection on the part of the Minister. The big challenge we are facing is his decision not to extend the moratorium on evictions. Rather than attempting to sidestep his responsibility and blame others, the Minister should immediately reinstate the eviction ban! 

SF noted there are currently more than 12,000 adults and children in Department of Housing-funded emergency accommodation.

Cllr Donnelly added that tenants with a notice to quit will have no option but to overhold in their rental property while others will be forced to sleep rough or seek shelter in Dublin garda stations.

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