There have been sharp exchanges in the Dáil between the Taoiseach and the Sinn Féin leader over housing policy.

Speaking at Leaders Questions, Mary Lou McDonald branded a proposal for "co-living" as "a glamourised form of tenement living".

She castigated Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy for describing "co-living" as an "exciting" proposal - claiming it only proved how "out of touch" he was.

The Sinn Féin leader claimed the Government's housing policy had "manifestly failed" and said to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: "You and Minister Murphy have been found out."

She added that co-living was a  "cock-and-bull" initiative and the Minister's "exciting" comment only "amplifies your failure".

The Taoiseach responded by accusing Ms McDonald of being "dishonest and disingenuous".

He said the Sinn Féin leader was referencing co-living through only one proposed development in Dún Laoghaire which did not have planning permission and, in his view, would "not be in line with the Government’s co-living guidelines".

Mr Varadkar claimed that Sinn Féin had "no answers" to the problems in the housing sector and so engaged in "personal attacks" to conceal that fact.

He added that co-living would only relate to "one percent" of the housing mix and was something which was introduced successfully in other European cities like Copenhagen and Berlin.

The Taoiseach said, due to the Government’s initiatives, 18,000 houses were built last year; an increase on the 15,000 built in 2017; and he predicted between 20,000 and 25,000 would be constructed in 2020.

Ms McDonald said the Dún Laoghaire proposed co-living development would involve 42 people sharing a kitchen, with studio dwellings "the same size as a car parking space".

She said this type of proposal, championed by Mr Murphy, was "an insult to those seeking a safe and secure roof over their head".

She added that the Mr Murphy's "exciting" comment amounted to... the clearest evidence yet that the biggest obstacle to solving the housing crisis is your Government."