Housing Committee attendance very poor despite housing crisis - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin has described the low level of attendance at the Oireachtas Housing Committee by some deputies as “very poor”.
The Dublin Mid-West TD has called on those members who cant attend regularly to “step down”. His comments were made as Sinn Féin published attendance figures for the Committee.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The attendance at the Oireachtas Housing Committee by some deputies is very poor. Despite the fact that we are in the middle of a housing and homeless crisis, much of the time less than half the members of the Committee are present.
“On April 13th the committee was hearing from expert witnesses and the Department of Housing on the issue of how to prevent future Priory Halls and Beacon Souths. Just three of seven TDs and one of three Senators bothered to turn up.
“The figures that I am releasing today show very clearly who is attending and who isn't. But they don't show the full picture. Some members only attend Committee for very short periods of time. Others attend and do not contribute.
“The number of members who attend full committee meetings and engage with our important work is surprisingly low despite the raging housing and homeless crisis.
“Of course members can not attend every meeting due to clashing Dáil schedules and family commitments. But we all have the facility to request substitutes to attend in our place.
“I am genuinely surprised that Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Housing Barry Cowen has the lowest level of attendance. For a front bench politician not to attend crucial meetings where the committee is scrutinising government legislation, holding the Minister to account on the implementation of his housing action plan, or proactively examining aspects of the housing and homeless crisis, is hard to understand.
“People will look at these figures and ask them selves if those Oireachtas members with a poor attendance record really care about the housing and homeless crisis.
“The housing and homeless crisis is getting worse. The Oireachtas Housing Committee has a vital role to plan in ensuring the government does everything it can to address the crisis. If current members can not find the time to attend and participate fully then they should step down from the committee and let others take their place.”