GREEN Party councillors from Cork have criticised the party for suspending Neasa Hourigan TD from the parliamentary party for at least 15 months and her removal from Oireachtas committees for voting against the Government on the eviction ban.
The decision was conveyed to Ms Hourigan on Wednesday night, and it has prompted much criticism from the Green Party councillors in Cork.
Liam Quaide highlighted the work Ms Hourigan has played in the ongoing Owenacurra Centre campaign in Midleton.
“It’s a sad reflection on our parliamentary party that their idea of taking a stand is to remove our most impressive TD, and close down all her invaluable committee work for 15 months,” he said.
“Neasa has been heroic in her work on the Owenacurra Centre campaign, for no political reward and in the context of so many other commitments.
“Taking a stand on behalf of hard-pressed tenants facing homelessness would reflect Green Party values, not this punitive action against a TD showing courage and integrity.
"And this at a time when there is such widespread and legitimate frustration with government because of the scale of the housing crisis.”
Oliver Moran said Ms Hourigan was central in ensuring immediate measures were put in place when the eviction ban ended.
“The party mobilised two weeks ago in response to the lifting of the ban to ensure there would be immediate measures in place when it ended.
"Neasa was central to achieving that. Councillors were out on the issue because we’re at the coalface of the housing crisis. Neasa was tenacious in public.
"That mobilising did achieve changes. The measures originally mooted to happen vaguely in the future will now take effect from April 1, when the ban is lifted. They will allow tenants being evicted for reason of sale and at risk of homelessness, whether in Hap or in private rental, to have their properties purchased by Cork City Council and rented back to them, either as social housing or on a not-for-profit basis,” he said.
“Everyone accepted that would be a cost to changing the Government position. It’s the severity of the sanction that took everyone by surprise and that it was agreed without her being in the room to put her position.”
Mr Moran said her removal from Oireachtas committees is overkill.
Councillor Dan Boyle said on Twitter: “I feel the length of the suspension is too long and she should be allowed to retain her committee memberships where she does excellent work.”
More in this section