Five-year-old girl and mother to be evicted on New Year’s Day, Taoiseach told

Five-Year-Old Girl And Mother To Be Evicted On New Year’s Day, Taoiseach Told
The latest figures from the Department of Housing indicate that there are almost 4,000 children in emergency accommodation, with 13,000 people homeless.
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By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

A five-year-old girl and her mother are among the people to be evicted over the Christmas period the Taoiseach has been told, as he was urged to help those in insecure housing.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald raised the cases of people who are living “from pay cheque to pay cheque”, and who face eviction over the Christmas period.


The latest figures from the Department of Housing indicate that there are almost 4,000 children in emergency accommodation, with 13,000 people homeless as of the end of November.

Ms McDonald said that a five-year-old girl and her mother, Lily, are to be evicted from their home on New Year’s Day, and a couple and their new baby face eviction, which has taken “a serious toll on their mental health”.

Sinn Fein Ard Fheis 2023
Mary Lou McDonald raised the issue of evictions at Christmas. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA. 


“They both feel betrayed as working, tax-paying citizens.”

Another young couple expecting their first child have been served with an eviction notice and “now face the prospect of being homeless at Christmas” and may be forced to sleep in their car, she told the Dáil.

She said, “4,000 children will wake up on Christmas morning in a hub, a hostel or a bed and breakfast. For many of these children, it’ll be their third or even fourth visit from Santa in emergency accommodation”.

“No child or family should spend Christmas this way. Each child deserves a place they call home.”


She called on a no-fault eviction ban to be implemented until the end of March to help keep people in homes over the Christmas period.

N22 Baile Bhuirne to Macroom Road Development
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said a ban on Christmas evictions would just move the problem to the spring. Photo: Niall Carson/PA. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he understands that, for a lot of people, Christmas is a stressful time of year, but said he did not believe an eviction ban was the solution.


“First of all, all we’ll end up then is with a glut of evictions in April, May and June, which would be even harder to deal with.”

He said that although a lot of people experience high rents and bad landlords, he said that there was evidence that many people are satisfied with their rental situation.

Quoting a survey published by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), he said 80 per cent of renters are “positive or very positive” with their situation and report that they spend 30 per cent of their net pay on rent, which he said was “well under” the 35 per cent that “academics say is the affordability threshold”.

“In addition to that, it shows that the median rent in 2022 was 1,350 euros. So median means half pay more than that, half pay less than that. So roughly 1,350 is the median rent in the country, two people sharing pay just under 700 euros each.”


Ms McDonald replied, “rents are too high Taoiseach, I hope you’re not disputing that”.

She said that of the 4,518 people who had received eviction notices, more than 80 per cent of those were “no fault” evictions.

“Is a temporary ban on evictions of people who have done nothing wrong the solution to the housing crisis? No, of course, it’s not,” she said.

“But for families facing eviction now, and particularly at this time of the year, at Christmas time, it is a solution for them, for the Government to intervene and protect them.”

Mr Varadkar replied that he did not dispute that more than 13,000 people will spend Christmas in emergency accommodation, and said the solution was to ramp up investment in social and cost-rental housing.

He added that objections to one-bed apartments needed to stop as that is where the greatest need is.

Mr Varadkar said Sinn Féin representatives needed to be “challenged” in the media on the survey findings he referenced earlier, to which Ms McDonald replied: “Happy Christmas Taoiseach.”

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