News & Media

Maher slams Fine Gael opposition to Cork social housing

30 October 2019

Statement by Cllr John Maher
Dáil By-election candidate for Cork North Central

Labour Cork City Cllr John Maher has criticised comments by a Fine Gael Councillor against a social housing development in Montenotte as stereotypical of a party out of touch with the reality on the ground where their party has ignored the needs of Cork North Central.

Cllr Maher said:
"We have a housing list that is years and years away from any sign of movement or completion, yet Fine Gael who have been in charge of the Housing Department for nearly four years are now opposing social housing developments.

“The Minister for Housing and the local Fine Gael party should clarify where they stand on this issue? A local Fine Gael Councillor is calling for this to be a private housing development rather than an estate managed by an approved housing body.

"This proposal would see 54 families homed. It would see 54 people off the housing waiting list. Whatever happened with the private developer is quite frankly not an issue at this moment. If they wanted to build the houses, you can be sure they would have built them. Here we have a site ready for housing and you have an elected councillor opposing them.

“I might say it's madness but the track record of Fine Gael on the northside of Cork is not one to be proud of. Their Dáil representative has hightailed it to Europe but is still taking a wage from the people who put him in his position to deliver results for Cork North Central.

“The needs of our constituency are being ignored by Government, and now local Fine Gael representatives are opposing social housing in the area. This comes just weeks after the violent killing of a homeless man.

"Fine Gael can dog whistle all they like, the people can see through them. We know that over the last year in Cork, from May 2018 to May 2019 there was a 30% increase in the homelessness rising from 314 to 407, and we know that official statistics don’t cover those sleeping rough.

“Just when we need an ambitious building programme of public housing to ease the crisis, we now see opposition from representatives of the main Government party to much needed homes.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

An application for planning permission has been submitted to Cork City Council for 54 homes at St Dominics in Montenotte. These would be social housing units managed by an approved housing body. A local Fine Gael Councillor has opposed this saying it should be a private housing development.