There was outrage in the Dáil this afternoon after Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin questioned the morales of the Taoiseach and the government regarding the current homeless crisis.
Mr Martin’s outburst comes as he revealed that 442 vacant flats in Dublin, owned by the state’s National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) were scandalously sold for €500,000, before being sold again by an international property firm for a staggering €83m. The news of the outrageous sale has angered Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin who claimed the vacant apartments could have been used to house homeless people. Mr Martin also told the Dáil that NAMA had offered them to the National Housing Agency which only applied to take 25 of them.
Mr Martin went on to say that the Taoiseach and the Government “just don’t get” the desperate plight of homeless people, and repeatedly questioned “Why didn’t the State buy those apartments and get people out of the hotel rooms and out of the damp bedsits?.” The news also prompted the Fianna Fáil leader to request that the government use the properties owned by NAMA and provide 10,000 houses for social housing. However Mr Martin’s were quickly rebuffed by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny who said the current housing crisis was caused by the Fianna Fáil-led government which presided over the collapse of the building sector.
The Taoiseach then went on the offensive by repeatedly asking Mr Martin to explain how he would provide an extra €2bn for social housing. Mr Kenny said: “You think you can ‘magic up’ another 10,000 houses from NAMA just like that. It doesn’t work like that
“Martin and Kenny both are the same side of the coin”