People tired of Sinn Féin’s failure to present alternatives, O’Brien says

By David Young, PA

Sinn Féin’s disappointing election results are down to people tiring of its failure to present credible alternative plans, the Minister for Housing has claimed.

Sinn Féin has repeatedly accused Darragh O’Brien of failing to deal adequately with the housing crisis.

Mr O’Brien, in turn, has been one of the main opposition party’s most vocal critics, leading to frequent fiery clashes in the Dáil.

The Fianna Fáil minister rounded on his rivals on Monday when asked to assess its failure to make major gains at the local elections.


“What I certainly picked up on the doorstep from talking to people is, people are really tired of them shouting, roaring, giving out and coming forward with no alternative,” he said.

“I am fine as housing minister, where people will raise criticisms, whether they be constructive or not, but the fact that we have the main opposition party that said 18 months ago that they would publish a housing plan (and) still have not done so, have still continued to object to housing developments across the city and country, and we are seeing record levels of housebuilding now.”

Mr O’Brien said the Government was making progress to address acute accommodation shortages, but he acknowledged there was a need to do more and accelerate efforts.

“Not everyone is feeling that progress, and we know that, but we are making that progress in relation to housing delivery,” he said.

“Look it’s for Sinn Féin, they can reflect in whatever way they want, but people have given their verdict of Sinn Féin as apparently an alternative to the current government, and I think that’s been very clear at the ballot box.”

He added: “I think the people have given a very clear view on where they see Sinn Féin.”