Sinn Féin and ministers are on a first-name basis (and not in a good way) as property tensions rise – The Irish Times

Story of the week

The story of the week, without a doubt, was the Government’s decision to recognize the State of Palestine.

On Tuesday afternoon word spread in political circles that the move would be taken first thing the next morning. In the end, after much behind-the-scenes coordination and lobbying, Ireland joined Spain and Norway in making the announcement in hopes of accelerating efforts to secure a ceasefire.

No major decision is without its detractors, but ministers have privately reported experiencing something extremely rare: praise and support from voters across the political spectrum. Israel and its supporters were quick to criticize the decision. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz posted a message on X claiming it was a reward for Hamas. The post was accompanied by a video edited to show the Irish flag, Irish dancers and Hamas fighters with traditional Irish music over it.

Shortly afterwards, Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of Ireland, Spain and Norway for a reprimand conversation, the format of which was later described by Tánaiste Micheál Martin as “inappropriate and incorrect.”

There is no doubt that this was a week that put Ireland’s response to the conflict on the world stage. If other European countries follow suit, and some indicate they might, Israel will become increasingly isolated, and Ireland will have played a role in that.

blowout

With just two weeks until the local and European elections, it will come as no surprise that the biggest riots in the Dáil this week have revolved around the housing issue. First, we had Taoiseach Simon Harris brandishing charts and waving Sinn Féin press releases as the parties quarreled over promises made and promises broken.

The shouting continued on Thursday when Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien went toe-to-toe with Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty, with both men calling each other by their first names (and not in a good way).

Doherty wanted to know about Fianna Fáil’s 2020 election manifesto promise to build 50,000 affordable homes to buy costing less than €250,000.

“Where the hell are the 50,000 homes, Darragh, that you promised would be delivered if you were in government?”

O’Brien responded: “Now that we are on a first name basis, Pearse, I will come back to you on that. “I am going to debate with you from top to bottom, left, right and center on housing.”

What white-hot tension.

Outside the Dáil chamber, tempers continued to flare between the three Fianna Fáil candidates in Midlands North West.

In a press release on Thursday, Fianna Fáil senator and MEP candidate Niall Blaney spoke of his “emerging difficulties” with the party leadership.

“We are not some sort of Division 2 region that only serves second preference votes to support a candidate favored by Fianna Fáil leaders in faraway Dublin. If the leader wants to conduct a poll for one candidate, he must do it for all three and must respect the wishes of the electorate.”

You already said that, Micheál Martin.

The most recent Irish Times Ipsos poll gave Blaney’s party rivals Barry Cowen on 10 per cent and Lisa Chambers on 9 per cent. Blaney was polling at 4 percent.

This is not the last time you will hear about this…

That’s all well and good, but does any of this affect me?

Party rivalries are nothing new, especially when there are three candidates on a ticket and a finite amount of resources to go around, but voters in the Midlands North West may find the dispute unpleasant. Or maybe they love it. However, the housing issue and the perception of which party is winning that debate are very important. Which brings us to our next topic.

Banana skin

A Housing Commission report this week suggested there is an underlying housing deficit in Ireland of up to 256,000 homes. The report says these issues, along with external influences, “contribute to supply volatility, undermining the affordability of the system” and if not addressed “there will continue to be insufficient progress on the issues facing our society.” Expect this report to be cited again and again by an opposition that smells blood ahead of the mother of all general election battles, whenever that may be.

Winners and losers

Taoiseach Simon Harris has had a good few days. Buoyed by recent polls, he appears to have changed tack in his approach to Sinn Féin in the Dáil, going from appeasing the opposition to attacking it at a million miles a minute, although that goes both ways. Along with Tánaiste Micheál Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, his face also toured Europe with extensive coverage of Ireland’s decision to recognize the State of Palestine.

A media blitz culminated in a message to the Israeli public via CNN, where he said that Ireland recognizes Israel’s right to peace and security but also that “the IRA was never the people of Ireland and Hamas is not the people of Palestine.” “.

Great read

Harry McGee takes a deeper look at that Housing Commission report, examining which parts will fly and which won’t. Jack Horgan-Jones will give an extensive reading with behind-the-scenes details of how the Government came to recognize the State of Palestine.

Listen here

From the election here to the other side of the Atlantic, on this week’s Inside Politics podcast, Hugh Linehan spoke to the head of US polling at Ipsos, Cliff Young, and told him that polls showed that if the election were If they celebrated today, Trump would win. :

Yes, Biden is not in a good place…. The main reason for this is inflation.

young cliff