Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South Seán Ó Fearghaíl has called on the Minister for Defence Simon Coveney to take steps to ensure families who are listed as overholding in residencies at the Curragh Camp are left in situ so that a new leasing arrangement can be reached with Kildare County Council. This could be achieved through a change in the nature of the relationship between the Department and the Council.

Deputy Ó Fearghaíl says the issue of overholding has arisen due to the lack of investment in social housing in the local area.

“There is a number of families listed by the Department of Defence as overholding in accommodation at the Curragh Camp. Departmental officials are insisting that they vacate their homes at a time when there is a national housing crisis. These families simply have no alternative accommodation to go to,” said Deputy Ó Fearghaíl.

“It makes little sense for the Minister to be ordering people out of their homes at a time when there is a housing emergency. Kildare County Council has 6,757 social housing applicants. 39 cases including 12 families with 35 children are in emergency accommodation. We do not want to add to these figures by forcing people out of their homes when there is no suitable alternative accommodation.

“The families listed as overholding have lived in these homes for decades. They should not be asked to move out of their family homes when there is clearly no alternative accommodation available, and so far Kildare County Council have been unable to provide this.

“Minister Coveney should be working with the Minister for Housing and Kildare County Council to ensure that there is investment in social housing in the local area. Equally so we should be looking at vacant properties in The Curragh under the control of the Department as part of a possible solution to Kildare County Council Housing waiting list. This is the one way we will address this problem in the short-term.

“It’s time for Minister Coveney to pursue a proactive approach to deal with this issue rather than trying to force people out of their homes when there are other options available.”