Independent TD Mattie McGrath has expressed his frustration at the failure of the post general election political debate to prioritise the national housing crisis as well as the chronic and the systematic failures of the HSE. Deputy McGrath was speaking as controversy around the continued viability of Irish Water remains front and centre of media and political discourse:
“While the issue of Irish Water and the payment of unfair water bills remains a key issue, it is not, to my mind, the concern that should be uppermost in our thoughts.
Tonight we have almost two thousand children in emergency accommodation.
We have the complete absence of a coherent housing policy; and we have the ongoing scandal of daily dysfunction and crisis within our A&E Departments.
If we are going to prioritise and make any policy issues the central focus of our political will, I think it should it be those I have just mentioned.
As things stand the continued focus on Irish Water is proving a major distraction to what ought to be the fulfilment of one of government’s primary constitutional duties; creating decent homes and shelter for families.
I would also suggest that if we are going to have a conversation about which currently existing monstrosity needs to be abandoned, then the HSE should take precedence over Irish Water.
After we have tackled those immediate and pressing issues around homes and health we can then turn our attention to ridding the State of the super quango which is Irish Water,” concluded Deputy McGrath.