Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin have clashed over whether or not Mr Murphy has declined to appear before the Oireachtas Housing committee over the recently published homelessness figures.

Members of the committee wrote to Minister Murphy’s office last week inviting him to come before it in the coming days to solely discuss the recent homeless figures.

Responding to the invite from the Oireachtas Housing Committee, the Minister's office said he would like to refrain from addressing the committee solely on that specific topic, saying he wants to wait until a report into the matter is finished.

In a statement this afternoon, Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin said Minister Murphy had declined the committee's invitation. 

He said the Minister is running scared of the Housing Committee and any detailed scrutiny of his interference in the March homeless report for fear that the committee will expose his actions as clear political manipulation of the homeless figures to protect his political reputation.

This evening, the Minister said he will be meeting the committee on Thursday and homelessness can be discussed.

In a statment, he said he will meet them again specifically on the homeless figures when the report by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive is complete.

He said Mr Ó Broin’s statement is at odds with the facts.

Figures for March showed the number of people without a home and living in emergency accommodation had fallen from 9,807 to 9,681.

The opposition have accused the Department of manipulating the figures in order to ensure the numbers did not go over the 10,000 mark.

The Minister has denied the claim saying people were removed from the list after local authorities wrongly categorised individuals and families living in local authority-owned or leased housing stock as homeless.