Sinn Féin housing spokesperson, Dessie Ellis TD, has called on the Minister for Environment, Phil Hogan, to stop interfering in the housing of families with a legitimate housing need and to get back to doing his job.
He made his comments in light of an Freedom of Information request that found Phil Hogan had made enquiries twice into traveller families to be housed in Kilkenny.
Hogan promised, in one letter to residents, that a family he failed to properly name would not be housed. He also made enquiries about the housing of another traveller family in the same house.
"Minister Hogan presides over 100,000 people on housing waiting lists, the shambles of the household charge and the complete failure of the delivery of NAMA housing. He is doing a poor job as minister and the public know this.
“It would be a better use of Minister Hogan's time to work on these issues, stop interfering in Kilkenny County Council’s decisions on who should be housed where, and to give up with his fixation with the traveller community.
“Anti-Traveller racism is a serious problem in our nation and the Minister should be more mindful of the consequence of encouraging this scourge or legitimising it.
“I think he should apologise to the traveller community and its leaders and set about doing the job he is so handsomely paid for, instead of interfering in the lives of every traveller family who dares to seek housing in Kilkenny."