Belfast Telegraph

Minister faces Sinn Fein no-confidence motion over homeless figures

The party will also fight the closure of rural post offices.

Sinn Fein will table a motion of no confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy in the coming weeks, it has been confirmed.

The party’s president Mary Lou McDonald said the Government was failing the homeless, failing those renting and failing those who strive to own their own home.

Almost 10,000 people are homeless in Ireland, the latest official statistics showed. Of the more than 9,800 people accessing homeless services in the month of July, over 3,800 of them were children.

Last week Mr Murphy said the numbers presenting to homeless services in the Dublin region remained a concern, despite significant progress in exiting individuals and families from emergency accommodation into independent tenancies.

“We have a minister who is failing and out of touch,” Ms McDonald said.

The party president told a meeting of elected representatives in Co Cavan on Monday morning that the situation was getting worse on the minister’s watch.

“This is a national crisis,” she said.

“This is a scandal. It is time to call a halt.

“It is time for Minister Eoghan Murphy to go.”

Sinn Fein did not proceed with two planned motions of no confidence in Mr Murphy in recent months.

Ms McDonald also confirmed that Sinn Fein would be tabling a motion against the closure of rural post offices when the Dail returns later this month.

In total, 159 post offices across the country are due to shut their doors in the coming months.

The closures are part of An Post’s restructuring plan for the postal network.

The Sinn Fein president said rural communities in Ireland had been abandoned by successive Fine Gael and Fianna Fail governments.

“I challenge Micheal Martin and Fianna Fail to stand up for rural Ireland,” she said.

“I challenge him to get off the fence and to support our motion.”

Ms McDonald said the party would reveal their presidential candidate in the next couple of weeks.

She added that the presidential election was an opportunity for a national conversation about “a new Ireland”.

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