Murphy insists he has ‘more work to do’ in housing amid talk of reshuffle

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Murphy insists he has ‘more work to do’ in housing amid talk of reshuffle


Pipeline: Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, centre, with Tony Keohane, chairman of Eriva, left, and Eamon Gallen, Irish Water MD, at the Vartry to Callowhill pipeline opening yesterday. Photo: Naoise Culhane
Pipeline: Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, centre, with Tony Keohane, chairman of Eriva, left, and Eamon Gallen, Irish Water MD, at the Vartry to Callowhill pipeline opening yesterday. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has insisted he wants to stay in his brief which is now viewed as a poisoned chalice, saying “there’s a lot more work I need to do”.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had previously indicated he was planning a reshuffle of his Cabinet after the European and local elections.

But he has now said that reshuffle will be delayed due to Brexit, and he indicated that Mr Murphy is one minister who he wants to stay in place.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Murphy said: “My focus has only ever been on delivering my responsibilities and that is to make sure that we are building more homes and also make sure that we are protecting those people in housing insecurity.

“I’m committed to staying there to address those keys aspects of the challenge.”

Mr Murphy said there has been improvement in the supply of new homes, but said there is still work to be done to ensure people are secure in their housing. He said he wants to see through Rebuilding Ireland, which is a five-year plan, and put in place a successor plan.

“There’s a lot more work that I need to do and that I want to do,” he said.

“If you are in emergency accommodation today or you’re at risk of going into emergency accommodation, you will not feel like enough is happening yet and I understand that.

“We are seeing new families and their children going into homes and I get to meet those and that’s a real privilege – for those families we are making progress but for those who are still in emergency accommodation, specifically in hotels we have to do more.

“That’s why we need a minister in place to drive delivery of that brief,” he said.

Young couples trying to buy their first home, and affordable rents and house prices are among the areas that now need to be focused on, Mr Murphy said.

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He did not rule out an extension to the help-to-buy scheme, a State scheme which sees payments of up to €20,000 paid towards a house deposit for first-time buyers, saying those discussions were ongoing in Government.

Mr Murphy was speaking at the opening of upgraded pipelines from Vartry to Callowhill in Co Wicklow, which supplies water to 200,000 people in north Wicklow and Dublin. The 4km pipeline replaces infrastructure that was built in the 1860s.

Mr Murphy said recent severe weather events underlined the need to ensure secure our water sources.

Irish Independent


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