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Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán

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Order of Business

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Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

The instinctive nastiness of the Taoiseach's politics has been laid bare over the past 48 hours and the Government sank to new depths when issuing rhetoric around the homelessness crisis. I think every Member of the House would agree that homelessness is the biggest issue this country must face. When dealing with a serious issue, one would assume no Minister or Government would engage in victim blaming. However, over the weekend and this week, we have had the suggestion that our homelessness levels are normal, last night it was suggested that talking about homelessness is bad for our international reputation, and now we have the deplorable suggestion that homelessness is down to the bad behaviour of those who are homeless. This is the inevitable consequence of the nasty rhetoric of defending those who get up early in the morning and saying that, for those who are vulnerable, it is in a way their own fault at the end of the day. It is outrageous. Rather than having a Government which holds its hands up and states it is doing its best but that it is a difficult and complex problem on which it will work harder and better to find solutions, we are told that our homelessness rates are normal if one considers the international comparators and that we might have a better international reputation if we stopped talking about it. Inevitably, other people working in the sector are saying that it is their own fault at the end of the day.
The rhetoric from the communications unit is outrageous. What is worse about the unit is that €5 million is nothing compared to the price of demonising the most vulnerable people in this country of ours. I genuinely do not want this to turn into party political football.