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Morgan denounces Noel Ahern for misleading Dáil

1 October, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Arthur Morgan T.D. has sharply criticised the Minister of State with responsibility for Housing, Noel Ahern T.D. for misleading the Dáil during Minister's question time yesterday. Minister of State Ahern was responding to a challenge from Deputy Morgan regarding Mr. Ahern's refusal to meet him to discuss proposals from Dublin City Council in relation to the sale of Local Authority flats. The Minister of State told the Dáil that the proposal in question was submitted by members of Dublin City Council, not the management when the opposite is in fact the case.

Deputy Morgan said, "It is totally unacceptable that any Minister can come in and mislead the Dáil. I was asking the Minister of State, Noel Ahern to explain his decision not to meet with me regarding the submission made by Dublin City Council on the sale of flats to tenants. Sinn Féin has a number of serious concerns regarding this proposal including the effect it will have in diminishing the level of social rental housing stock in Dublin if replacement stock is not built, and if the revenue raised through the sales will be ring-fenced for the construction of social housing.

"In reply Noel Ahern said "A submission by Dublin City Council has been received by my Department but it has not reached my desk. It was made by the members, a number of which represent the Deputy's party, not the manager." This is blatantly untrue as the submission was made by the Assistant City Manager, Brendan Kenny and the submission has not even been made available to the elected members of the City Council. The proposals by City Council will have a potentially massive impact on social housing stock in the Capital unless the Minister ensures that the proposal is accompanied by a plan for the construction of replacement stock. Why has the Minister of State not even read the report? Noel Ahern must take his responsibilities for housing far more seriously and he must cease misleading the Dáil on crucial issues such as this." ENDS

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