THE reason that homelessness figures in Cork South West are not officially very high is due mainly to the fact that two, three and sometimes four, generations of a family will live in the same house, rather than have one generation moving on to the streets, Fianna Fáil Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony told the Dáil.
As such, she said, the figure is somewhat misleading. Even so, homelessness figures in West Cork are definitely increasing.
Speaking during a debate on a Private Member’s Bill on housing, she said the ‘Confidence and Supply’ agreement has allowed Fianna Fáil to negotiate a 25% increase in the overall capital budget. This includes funding for social housing and homelessness capital funding.
‘It has never been suggested that the solution would be easy to find, but all members must be pragmatic,’ she said. ‘A comprehensive long-term plan is the only way to address the issues faced by so many nationally and about which we have all spoken here tonight. Stop-gap solutions are part of the reason we find ourselves in the current housing emergency and it is time for serious action.’
Since coming into office, Deputy Murphy O’Mahony said Fine Gael has launched Construction 2020, the 2020 Social Housing Strategy, Rebuilding Ireland 2016 and capital plans in 2012, 2015 and 2018.
‘Housing cannot be used as the basis for exercises in grand-standing,’ she said.
‘Motions and announcements of things which never come to fruition should not take the place of serious policy and the investment which is needed to get to grips with the crisis.’
Moynihan seeks clarity on Bandon sites for gardaí
DETAILS on additional accommodation in Bandon for a number of Garda divisional teams which are being established in that area were sought from the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform by Cork North West Deputy Aindrias Moynihan.
He said the new units have been planned for members of the Garda in the area for some time.
‘They have been very keen to get that centre of excellence up and running for West Cork and to provide the best possible service for people in the region,’ he said. ‘There have been different inquiries into different sites, but it has been dragging on for quite some time.
‘There are also questions about whether it will remain in Bandon or move to Macroom, where a new Garda station is being planned. I ask the Minister to clarify that.’
In response, Minister Paschal Donohoe said An Garda Síochána requested the Office of Public Works to source additional accommodation in Bandon for a number of divisional teams which are being established in that area, namely, court presenters, duty and rostering management and protective services units.
‘The OPW is liaising with An Garda Síochána to source a property solution to accommodate these units based on the brief of requirements received from the Garda, including both a review of existing State-owned properties in the area and a review of the wider local property market,’ he said.
‘Representatives of the Office of Public Works and An Garda Síochána have visited those sites under active consideration,’ he added.
‘The OPW is now finalising a property assessment report, which identifies the available options.’