Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy survives motion of no confidence vote

Update - 10.37pm: The Dáil debate on a motion of no confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has come to an end.

The Minister for Housing survived the Sinn Féin motion of no confidence by 59 votes to 49 after Fianna Fáil abstained from the vote.

All Fine Gael TDS supported the Minister, as did independent alliance and independent ministers.

Earlier: 'I will be supporting my Government colleague' - Catherine Byrne to back Housing Minister in motion of no confidence

Junior Minister Catherine Byrne has confirmed that she will support her Fine Gael colleague when the Dáil debate on a motion of no confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy comes to a vote this evening.

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In a statement, she said: "Today I had positive and constructive discussions with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister Eoghan Murphy.

“I believe that for any new housing development to be successful, investment in proper planning and community facilities is essential. We all want to live in a sustainable and safe community.

“I will be supporting my Government colleague this evening. Over the days and weeks ahead I will continue to work constructively with all of my colleagues on the issues I have raised relating to housing and community development.

“I am confident that working together we will agree a plan to identify the socio-economic needs of the Inchicore/Kilmainham area and create a stable and vibrant community for generations to come.”

Her statement comes after Ms Byrne previously told colleagues that she was considering supporting Sinn Féin’s no-confidence motion or abstaining from the vote.

Introducing the Sinn Féin motion in the Dáil this evening, the party's housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin attacked Fianna Fáil for supporting the government as the party moved a motion of no confidence against Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

Earlier: Sinn Féin accuse Fianna Fáil of being too 'weak' to stand up to Leo Varadkar

Sinn Féin have attacked Fianna Fail for supporting the government as the party moved a motion of no confidence against Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

TD Eoin O'Broin said Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin was “scared” of a snap general election. His party was "so weak" that he wouldn't stand up to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Mr O'Broin told the Dail tonight.

Mr Murphy's housing policies and the government's own plans had "failed", it was added. The Sinn Fein TD said homelessness in the last two years had increased by 60%, child homelessness by 77% while the number of pensioners without a home was up by 80%.

The TD also noted how the Taoiseach's own proposals for a vacant property tax had been “quietly dropped.”

“Minister Murphy knows Rebuilding Ireland is fundamentally flawed,” said the Dublin TD.

Sinn Féin's Eoin O'Broin.

The government will defend the housing minister this evening during the Dail debate while Fianna Fail is expected to abstain in the chamber vote afterwards, as is required under the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Sinn Fein Mary Lou McDonald said the motion was not about playing the man but about highlighting the government's failure over housing.

She said the party was proposing double investment in affordable and social housing, tax relief for renters and a three-year rent freeze as well as legislation to stop buy to let landlords evicting those renting.

Additional reporting by Digital Desk

By Juno McEnroe
Political Correspondent

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