The Taoiseach’s forcible defence of his comments that ‘things are not that bad’ while more than 3,000 children face into a Christmas in emergency accommodation means we are no longer dealing with reality but with propaganda, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said tonight.

Speaking during a Dáil debate on a private members’ bill, Deputy Murphy said:

“The basic fact of it is that no child should be homeless and it’s not acceptable for us to consider that any child would be homeless. I don’t want children to be labelled as homeless.

“The normalisation of homelessness, making comparisons to other countries, trying to minimise the extent of the crisis that we have is a backdrop to the debate tonight.

“Unfortunately, the minute we accept family hubs as a replacement for example to homes, the minute we accept child homelessness, then we start dealing with it differently and I have major concerns from that point of view.

“When we have a Taoiseach who forcibly defended his comments that ‘things are not that bad’ while over 3,000 children face into a Christmas in emergency accommodation – a point that is then supported by the Chair of the National Housing Agency – then we must recognise that we are no longer dealing with reality – we are dealing with propaganda here.

“That propaganda is really having a very detrimental impact on people who are suffering at this particular time – children are worrying about things that children shouldn’t have to worry about.”

ENDS

15 November 2017