Gary Gannon TD

Figures show that almost 60 per cent of family military accommodation is unoccupied 

Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon has called on the Government to reconsider its policy of not providing military family accommodation to members of the Defence Forces.

Deputy Gannon, who is the party’s spokesperson on Defence, said:

“I was prompted to raise this issue after recent reports of a female soldier, who is the mother of an infant child, being denied permission to live in military accommodation, forcing her to sleep on the couches of family and friends.

“Figures provided to me through a parliamentary question reveal that almost 60 per cent of family accommodation owned by the Defence Forces is unoccupied. Of the 134 living quarters in Dublin, Cork and Kildare, 77 units lie empty.

“Many of these properties have fallen into disrepair since the Department of Defence began winding down the use of military family accommodation in the late 1990s. However, with many personnel struggling to pay rent or afford a home of their own, this managed decline of housing stock seems counter-intuitive.

“In a housing and homelessness emergency, every single vacant property needs to be used, even if renovation work is required to bring it up to standard. For members of the Defence Forces with families trying to survive on meagre wages, the refusal of the Department to reverse this policy is a slap in the face.”

May 15, 2023

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