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McDonald challenges government on their opposition to Sinn Féin Domestic Violence Bill

21 November, 2014 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has challenged the Government on failure to support a Sinn Féin Bill amending the Domestic Violence Act debated today in the Dáil. 

Deputy McDonald criticised the Government for going against the legislation which would enable victims of domestic violence to obtain social housing.   

Deputy McDonald stated:

“This Bill was tabled by Sinn Féin in order to give those fleeing domestic violence, access to social housing. It was opposed by the Government and for no good reason.

 “The Government claimed that we were amending the wrong legislation. This is untrue. This Bill was designed to strengthen existing legislation and Sinn Féin sought legislative advice before submitting the Bill.”

“Current legislation prevents victims of domestic violence from seeking social housing if they are co-owners of a home with their abusive partner. Our Bill recognises the rights of victims of domestic violence to seek rehousing.

“It is a modest Bill but represents a small and important advance in securing victims’ right to housing.

“Minister Paudie Coffey is engaging in spin. The Government has dragged its feet in producing comprehensive reforms and consolidated domestic violence legislation.

“The right to housing needs to be underpinned in domestic violence legislation and all consequential guidelines to local authorities.”

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