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8 September 2018

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Distraction politics of establishment parties getting hysterical

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin O Broin writes about the politics of distraction and the upcoming motion of no confidence in Minister Eoghan Murphy.

"Sinn Féin gave Fianna Fáil a decision to make, to stand with the Minister and his appalling record or to stand with us and give him his marching orders. It was a choice to stand with the people or with the establishment."

On Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of appearing, as I do on a regular basis, on the Tonight Show, on the newly renamed Virgin Media One station.  I was joined on Wednesday evening by Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee of Fianna Fáil and by Peter Burke TD of Fine Gael.

The previous Monday, my party leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD, had signalled that Sinn Féin will move a motion of no confidence in Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

The reaction from the establishment parties, the usual politics of distraction, is getting hysterical at this stage, as could be seen on the Tonight Show on Wednesday evening.

Rather than deal with the issue at hand, these parties have gone on the attack against Sinn Féin, with nonsensical arguments about a non-existent army and the internal democracy in my party.

At one stage, Senator Clifford Lee tried to tell me that my wages were paid into a central fund and that I was then paid from that central fund.  I’m all for political debate, but telling blatant lies on live TV is never a good idea.

Such is the level of hysteria in these parties and their determination to avoid the real issues.  They would rather talk about my wages than deal with the issue of almost 10,000 people now homeless, the thousands more struggling with exorbitant rents or the generation of young people who will struggle to ever own their own home.

Micheál Martin TD, the master of political distraction, has led the chorus of ridiculous claims about Sinn Féin.

He is critical of the internal democracy of Sinn Féin while he and a number of his unelected officials make all the key decisions in Fianna Fáil, something that really irks his party’s TDs and Senators.

He criticises the manner in which Michelle O’Neill was elected Deputy Leader of our party and then goes and appoints his own party’s Deputy Leader without any semblance of a democratic process.

He and a small number of his Oireachtas team completely over ruled the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis by deciding not to run a candidate in the presidential election against the democratic vote of their membership.

He talks about shadowy figures controlling Sinn Féin without a shred of evidence to back this up. He wrongly cites a PSNI report on this issue.

So, we will take no lectures on internal party democracy from somebody who clearly has no regard for it in his own party.

Micheál Martin’s party and their colleagues in Fine Gael simply don’t want to talk about housing because they are part of the problem rather than the solution.

The policy of this government is failing the homeless, failing those renting and those who strive to own a home.  We now have a generation of workers who will never afford to own a home. 

Eoghan Murphy, the Housing Minister, is completely failing and is out of touch. 

We have 10,000 people homeless. That’s the equivalent of the population of Longford town homeless, on his watch and things are getting worse. 

My party Leader Mary Lou McDonald was right to call this situation a national scandal on Monday and to announce that we will move a motion of no confidence in the Minister.

We need to send a clear message to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the policies being implemented by Minister Murphy are not working.

Sinn Féin gave Fianna Fáil a decision to make, to stand with the Minister and his appalling record or to stand with us and give him his marching orders.  It was a choice to stand with the people or with the establishment.

Micheál Martin wasted no time choosing the establishment.  Mary Lou McDonald was barely back in her seat after delivering her speech on Monday when the Fianna Fáil leader appeared on the Seán O’Rourke Show to say that he will not support the motion of no confidence.

Then quickly came the old reliable politics of distraction.

Sinn Féin is focused on the real issues affecting the Irish people and we will not be distracted by this nonsense.

An Phoblacht Magazine

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