Sinn Fein TD Kathleen Funchion has described comments made by Independent TD Carol Nolan as ‘rightwing hatred narritive’.
Her remarks followed a heated exchange between Nolan and housing Minister Darragh O’Brien in the Dail yesterday in a discussion about immigration and the housing crisis.
O’Brien reacted strongly to TD Nolan’s suggestion that the ongoing influx of foreign nationals was putting undue strain on the already overburdened housing system.
Nolan said that Ireland’s immigration system was “barely functioning” and that having people sleeping on “hotel floors for years” was unacceptable.
She also stated that the current state of the immigration system in Ireland was unfair for both Irish nationals and non incomers alike.
Darragh O’Brien reacted to her mention of the government having been recently warned that unsustainable levels of immigration would threaten social cohesion by saying that her remarks “posed a threat to social cohesion”.
He continued that the government plans to deliver “300,000 homes between now and 2030”.
“What you’re calling for effectively is a cap on immigration and a cap on asylum seekers coming into this country, ” he said , adding “we will not support that, and we will not support a cap on ukrainians coming in here.”
Speaking on the Late Debate, Funchion said she would ordinarily “never agree with the housing minister” but “I would agree with his sentiment there today”
Speaking of housing issues, said she didn’t know if we can call it a “crisis” anymore saying, “I feel like we’ve been calling it a crisis for the last at least 10 years at this stage”.
She continued saying Nolan’s remarks fed into a “rightwing negative hatred type narraitive” adding, “we don’t want that and there’s a better way of doing it”
She continued, saying we need to get “far more imaginative potentially look at CPOing” unoccupied houses. Referring to south east locals she continued, “we all know” 5,6,7, or 8 vacant houses that were “vacant forever”.