Minister must clarify position on charities gag order- Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to make a public statement condemning attempts by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) to insert a “gag” order in contracts with a number of homeless charities.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Minister Murphy needs to come out and state unequivocally that this practice is wrong.
“The charities around the Dublin area that provide vital homeless services should not be asked to 'stay quiet' in return for receiving the funding they require. Any attempt to do so would seriously harm public debate.
"Advocating for their clients is an important part of what these organisations do and this should not be interfered with by government.
“I submitted a parliamentary question to the Minister for Housing asking him to confirm that neither he nor officials in his Department have played any part or have at any stage attempted to interfere, limit or prevent voluntary sector organisations funded by his department from engaging in advocacy work on behalf of their service users.
“I further asked him state that neither he nor his officials would seek to or have sought to prevent voluntary sector organisations funded by his Department from being critical of government policy.
“Debate cannot be shut down simply because the government might not like what it is hearing.
“Minister Murphy must clarify his government’s position on this matter without delay.”