This is fucking Bonkers, the Money they Get, plus Expenses, Makes no Sense, God Help the Genuine Homeless, maybe the answer for these senators is to Set up Tents on the Dail Lawns?

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23rd May 2022

TDs and senators from outside Dublin are struggling to find hotel rooms during the Dáil’s term, with some resorting to sleeping in their cars and booking into rooms an hour outside the city.

With demand for hotel rooms across the city soaring as tourists return following Covid and Ukrainian refugees are put up in temporary housing, accommodation prices have spiked and many politicians have been left struggling to find a place to stay.

One Oireachtas member, based in the west of Ireland, told Extra.ie he slept in his car on two occasions after repeated attempts to find a place to stay failed.

‘There’s a growing difficulty for Oireachtas members who aren’t able to get accommodation in Dublin, particularly people who are coming from down the country and are relying on a bed because they’re so far from home,’ he said.

‘Even at €200 a night, people can’t seem to be able to get a room. In my own case, I went three weeks having to go up and down and that’s fine, but my commute is 300km in a round trip, which is long when you have a full day of sittings, committee meetings and maybe a parliamentary party meeting too.’

He continued: ‘For two nights I slept in my car. I thought about staying in my office but I was worried about setting an alarm off in the middle of the night, so I decided to stay in the car instead. That was after exhaustive attempts to find a place.’

The Oireachtas member said the shortage of accommodation in the city is affecting members’ ‘lives and ability to work’.

‘I’m embarrassed to talk about it because I understand that some families are finding it difficult to get housing,’ he added.

‘I don’t want to be seen to whinging about it.’

Several TDs and senators living long distances from the capital have also resorted to staying in guest accommodation in Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.

Fine Gael senator Paddy Burke, who lives in Mayo, said he has had to stay in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath – an hour outside Dublin – after he was unable to find a place to stay.

‘There’s a big problem there with the hotels. Gone are the days that people used to stay three or four nights – people are travelling up and down and staying a night if they can,’ he said.

‘There are people staying about 50 miles outside of the city.’

Tim Lombard, Fine Gael senator for Cork South West, revealed he’s looking to book rooms five months in advance to ensure he has a place during sittings.

‘I would book four weeks in advance to make sure I have a place. They would laugh at you if you tried to book for the following week,’ he said.

Senator Lombard added: ‘I’ve booked to the end of the Seanad term and we’re now looking at booking in for September to make sure the rooms are there. It’s only going to go one way.’


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