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Taoiseach hides behind the failures of Fianna Fáil – McDonald

4 May, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD questioned the Taoiseach on his decision to tie the state to an EU/IMF deal that imposes vicious austerity measures on ordinary people and that will make investment in critical social housing infrastructure impossible.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny refused to outline what measures his Government would undertake to address the appalling housing conditions in communities where regeneration projects have collapsed.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The result of the EU/IMF Programme is real hardship, and in some cases squalor. Last night RTE’s Prime Time featured some of the communities in this State that have been abandoned and that are in need of critical investment in social housing. Sinn Féin has raised this matter in the Dáil time and time again. Our TDs and Councillors have been to the fore in working with residents in areas such as St Teresa’s Garden, Dolphin House, Croke Villas, O Devenny Garden’s and Dominick Street in Dublin, in the Limerick regeneration areas and elsewhere.

“There are now significant problems with new social housing stock built at the height of the boom by cowboy developers such as that in Balgaddy and Clondalkin. Despite only being completed in 2007, these new developments have many of the same problems as those dealt with in last night’s Prime Time Documentary.

“The Government could commit to delivering a Social Dividend from NAMA. Unfinished or unsold houses stock could be used to address the emergency situation people are currently living in. Housing Stock currently held by NAMA could be given to not for profit housing associations to take tenants off waiting lists.

“The Government must convene an urgent meeting with the relevant ministers Penrose & Flanagan to assess the total cost of bringing inadequate social housing up to acceptable standards and devise an appropriate mechanism whereby tenants concerns are addressed as a matter of urgency.”

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