Fianna Fáil’s Communities Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív has responded to revelations that Environment Minister Phil Hogan appeared to intervene in a housing allocation case to prevent a traveller family from being housed.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “At face value, this is a very serious issue. A Government Minister personally interfering in a housing allocation process to prevent a traveller family being housed on the basis of them being travellers would be an extraordinary abuse of power. It would also be illegal under the terms of Equality legislation and the Housing Act.
“The Minister needs to come forward immediately and explain why he allowed a letter of this nature to be sent in his name and with his authority. Enormous work has been done over the last decade to reach out to the travelling community to improve their living standards and improve relations with settled communities.
“A public representative in a position of national leadership taking the sort of action suggested in this correspondence would do enormous damage to that process.
“He needs to make a full statement on the matter and he needs to make it today.”