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Michael Healy-Rae says he will vote against the Government in Sinn Féin eviction ban motion

Story by Seoirse Mulgrew • 1h ago

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Michael Healy-Rae has said he will vote against the Government in a Sinn Féin motion on extending the eviction ban.

The Independent TD for Kerry said he will do so “in the absence of any other sensible proposal.”

Mr Healy-Rae, who owns a number of properties, is the Dáil’s biggest landlord. The motion is set to be voted on in the Dáil tomorrow.

“Government has not used the time during the last ban to do anything, all they’ve actually done is resulted in thousands of more people leaving the private rental market,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

He added that Sinn Féin had not done anything either to help the housing market, “only what they’ve done to hurt it as well”.

Mr Healy-Rae said Sinn Féin need to realise that extending the ban is “kicking the can down the road.”

“What is my problem, meeting people that are facing evictions in the coming weeks, I’m very fearful for those people as to where they’re going to go and that is the only reason why I would vote to extend the ban,” he said.

Mr Healy-Rae said he rents out “every” property that he has.

“I have an interest in housing no more than I would have interest in farming or an interest in plant hire, but what I do know from my lifelong involvement in renting out property because I’ve doing this business since I was 19,” he said.

“I know that many of the people in Ireland, in Kerry and throughout the country who rent out property, they know that so many of those people are now leaving the market and that is not good for people who are seeking to rent properties.

“Because if the Government and the State aren’t going to provide enough housing, there will always be a need for people to provide private accommodation for rent.

“But they’re leaving in droves and that is a disaster and it’s leading to a pressure point down the line, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.

“Couples and young people are really desperate, not knowing where they’re going to be in a month’s time, and it is so sad and so upsetting to see families in that kind of hardship and situation.”

Mr Healy-Rae said none of his tenants are facing eviction this year.

“I know so much about the market from both sides, before I was ever elected as a representative myself, I was touring Kerry with my late father Jackie Healy-Rae,” he said

“And I got a great understanding of what it was for young people to start out and make friends and go looking to rent a property, get on a housing list and eventually get a local authority house.

“What I do know for an absolute fact, there is so many, thousands and thousands of good people who had second and third and fourth properties and were renting them out and now they’re leaving because they’re being demonised by government and by opposition.

“The people who shout the loudest about housing inside in the Dáil are the people who in their own constituencies have objected to thousands of homes being built in their constituencies, both family homes and student accommodation.

“And when I hear those people standing up and saying they want more housing, but they don’t want it outside their backdoors, that doesn’t make sense to me.”

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