The Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, visited Wexford recently…
Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Forde has criticised Minister Darragh O’ Brien’s recent visit to Wexford and labelled it as a ‘snub to County Wexford’ and those struggling to secure housing.
Speaking to Wexford Weekly, Cllr Forde said:
“After repeated requests from myself, Wexford County Council wrote to the Minister asking him to attend a meeting of our council to discuss the many housing issues impacting the people of our county and to hear his plan. Instead, the Minister opted to tour our county for photo ops and to promote his “Housing For All” plan, a plan which I believe will fail to deliver on what was promised.”
“This type of publicity-driven visit can only be viewed as a party political broadcast and as a snub to some members of Wexford County Council and those experiencing great difficulty to secure affordable and suitable accommodation throughout our county.”
The Wexford and Sinn Fein councillor, Tom Forde, also criticised the role of Wexford County Council in the Minister’s visit:
“I would question the participation of council officials and members of the council partaking in what was essentially a party political advertisement for the Minister and his plan. It should not be the place of elected representatives or officials to promote such a plan without the approval or discussion of the elected members of Wexford County Council. If this was an official event, all elected representatives should have been invited or notified, rather than a carefully selected few who toe the Minister’s line. I believe the visit happened in the manner it did to avoid any discussion or criticism of the plan.”
Councillor Forde believes that the Minister’s plan has many flaws and falls far short of what is needed to provide adequate housing for the people of Wexford.
“Housing For All is all about maintaining the status quo and is clearly geared more towards the interests of developers and investors than those in the need of affordable homes. Unfortunately this plan will not reduce rents, will not reduce evictions but it will ensure that yet another generation will continue to be locked out from affordable housing.”
“I will continue to raise these issues at a local level and will once again request that the Minister attends a full meeting of our council as promised to discuss the many obstacles and challenges facing the people of our county with securing housing. I believe we deserve that opportunity.”
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