Green Party TD hits out at Government decision to end eviction ban

Updated at 13:13

A Green Party TD has blasted the Government’s expected decision not to extend the eviction ban beyond March, arguing that it does not reflect the party’s values.

Following a meeting of the three coalition leaders and the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien on Monday night, it is understood the recommendation is to let the current legislation lapse.

Calls had been made to extend the ban as homelessness and energy bills remain high.

Neasa Hourigan criticised the process of “three men in the room making this decision” without wider consultation and said the decision seemed to reflect the Fine Gael party “fairly well, but it doesn’t suit the Green Party”.

“I think you’re really relying on somebody to reflect or to talk about what your policies actually are in the room,” she said on RTE’s Claire Byrne.


“I know that obviously the government is led by a Fine Gael Taoiseach and I suspect this process of putting the investment interests of people who have two or three homes ahead of the basic needs of people who have none suits Fine Gael fairly well, but it doesn’t suit the Green Party and I think we need to be clear about that.”

“I can guarantee you in the next month, I will be sitting at constituency clinics and there will be mammies coming in to me saying I am being evicted through no fault of my own – this is no fault evictions – and I am now going to have to move, my children are going to have to be removed from their school and go somewhere else.

“There are no more hotel rooms in Dublin central there are no more B&Bs.

“I genuinely do not know where we are going to put people,” Ms Hourigan said.


Meanwhile, a housing charity has criticised indications that the eviction ban will not be extended beyond March, despite monthly increases in homelessness.

Calls had been made to extend the ban as homelessness and energy bills remain high.

Focus Ireland chief executive Pat Dennigan called on Cabinet to extend the moratorium, arguing that lifting it would amount to “turning on the tap into homelessness and making an absolutely shameful situation even worse”.


Addressing a half-day seminar on housing, he added: “We’re not going to put a timeline on that – we’re not going to say for three, six, nine months or even a year – we believe we can’t put an arbitrary timeline on the extension, but rather we must extend the ban until we have tackled the conditions that made it essential in the first place.

“We must use the breathing space of the ban to provide solutions.”

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Mick Barry called the decision not to extend the ban “reckless”.

He said: “They are making this decision in the full knowledge that the result will be a surge in the number of evictions and that men, women and children will be made homeless as a result of their decision.”

‘Crucial’ decision


In contrast, the Irish Property Owners’ Association said in a statement on Tuesday that the decision not to extend the ban “was crucial in order to stem the exodus of landlords from the property rental market”.

“Measures that encourage the participation of landlords in the market will have a positive impact on supply,” Chair of the IPOA Mary Butler said.

“The eviction ban was always an inadequate policy response.

The association claimed that the ban — as well as other similar measures introduced by the government — has had “no discernible impact” on homeslessnesss figures.


Eviction ban must be extended as ’emergency isn’t…

“In fact the opposite is true,” the statement continued.

“We acknowledge the cost-of-living crisis is adding pressure on tenants paying their rents, the same is true for landlords who are exposed to huge financial risks, as a consequence of rising mortgage interest rates, inflationary cost pressures and the burden of taxation, without any means of recovering same through an increase in rents – this level of State intervention is unprecedented in any business.

“Non-institutional landlords are a vital cog in the private rental market that provides homes for hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland. With acute challenges – from changing demographics to immigration – facing policymakers on housing provision, we must be recognised as part of the solution.

“Private landlords are of strategic importance to the Government in solving the housing supply issue and we are committed to working collaboratively with all relevant stakeholders to enable the retention of landlords in the sector.”