A pre-Cabinet meeting of the leaders of the three coalition Government parties, which was due to begin at 8:30pm, did not take place.

It had been expected that Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan would consider Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien's plan for an eviction ban.

However it is believed there was a scheduling issue and the three leaders instead spoke by phone.

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has confirmed that he is bringing proposals on an eviction ban to Cabinet tomorrow morning.

Speaking on RTÉ's Monday Night Live, Mr O'Brien said that he was proposing "time-bound measures... to give further protection to renters".

"That has to be calibrated, it has to obviously be discussed and agreed," Mr O'Brien said.

"We've worked long and hard on this, we've got legal advice," he said, adding that he was "acutely aware" that if the measures "are not calibrated properly", they could have "unintended consequences of leading to further flight of private landlords which we have seen since 2016".

He said that the measures he was proposing "would be significant".

"I think they're needed to be honest with you," Mr O'Brien said.

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RTÉ News understands the Government is considering introducing additional measures to assist landlords.

The likely mechanism would be to include such a measure in the Finance Bill, which is due to go to Cabinet.

Budget 2023 did include increasing pre-letting expenses to €10,000, but landlords had been calling for assistance via tax changes.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan tried to reassure landlords on RTÉ's Drivetime programme earlier, saying that evictions would still take place, even if a temporary ban was introduced, if a tenant engaged in anti-social behaviour, terrorised a community or did not pay their rent.

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Earlier, Mr Varadkar said the coalition leaders would examine Mr O'Brien's proposal, but added the matter may not be decided by Cabinet tomorrow.

He said the process would be to introduce a moratorium on notices to terminate, which would run until the end of March before being discontinued.

Mr Varadkar added that while homeowners had rights under the constitution, these were subject to the "common good" rather than being absolute rights.

Minister O'Brien met stakeholders this afternoon to discuss the issue. Among the organisations attending were those involved in helping homeless people, including Threshold, De Paul, Simon Communities and Focus Ireland.

Also invited to the meeting were the Irish Property Owners Association and the Residential Tenancies Board.

Minister O'Brien said he has put proposals forward to the three party leaders, and the context of any proposed ban and how it would look will be discussed this evening.

"I know what's legal and what we can do. We obviously have got to be very conscious of any measures that we take, don't have any unintended consequences of further reducing supply in the private rental market," the minister said.

"We will have further discussions with Cabinet colleagues and coalition colleagues."


Read more:
Report finds low availability of rental properties
Government weighing up eviction ban but drawbacks remain


Sinn Féin's housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said that evictions were not the fault of landlords but of bad housing policy.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Mr Ó Broin said there had been a significant increase of vacant possession notices to quit and a lack of new social housing supply, so the number of adults and children going into emergency accommodation is set to increase.

He said that if a temporary ban comes into place, Minister O'Brien has his full support, but it needs to be done now and not in December.

He said it was not enough to just announce the ban, as the central problem is not enough social and affordable homes being delivered.

"Darragh O’Brien needs to outline what additional measures that he is going to take to accelerate an increase in housing stock and to prevent people being homeless in the first place," said Mr Ó Broin.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said that he agrees with a temporary ban on evictions due to the challenge of the times but that the details are important.

Speaking on the same programme, he said that there were certain instances such as where someone was involved in anti-social behaviour or terrorising a community or are not paying rent, that in those circumstances people should have the ability to discontinue a rental agreement.

He said other than these instances, it will be a challenging winter, and there is the wider issue of how displaced people from Ukraine and refugees are managed.

Ban may have some exceptions - IPAV

The CEO of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, Pat Davitt, said that many ideas were put to the Minister today, and there may be exceptions to the ban such as non-payment of rent and anti-social behaviour and Minister O'Brien will be recommending many proposals to cabinet.

Speaking on the same programme, Mr Davitt said that there was no conclusion that the ban was needed or was going to work, and it was difficult to say what was expected from it.

He said that there were other ways to get to that situation, and suggested better and longer-term solutions than a ban, such as identifying early signs where social welfare could intervene.

Mike Allen of Focus Ireland said a no-fault eviction ban was important - but so too was what the Minister would do for the five months that the ban is in place to tackle the underlying problem.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister of State Ossian Smyth said he supported a temporary ban given the country was enduring a cost-of-living crisis and winter was approaching.

Social Democrats housing spokesperson Cian O'Callaghan said he agreed with a ban on evictions, but that Ireland needed to be more in line with other European countries as the grounds for eviction here are "very wide" compared to other countries.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Deputy O’Callaghan said a ban on evictions for those who do not break their rental agreements, pay their rent and do not engage in antisocial behaviour could be a very effective measure to reduce the number of people who end up in homelessness.

He said other European countries provide stability to renters who comply with the rules, meaning they do not have a question mark hanging over them and are able to grow roots in the community.

Additional reporting: Dyane Connor