Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has discouraged any TDs from voting in favour of a Sinn Féin motion to extend the ban on evictions.

His comments come as Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness said the "quick" lifting of the ban was a mistake and Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan has not yet said which way she will vote.

Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland programme, Mr McGuinness said any "promised legislation and actions should have been in place before any ban was lifted".

"We have to protect those that are vulnerable in society and we have to respond to their needs rather than please a marketplace that is driven by vulture funds," he said.

Speaking on the same programme, Ms Hourigan’s party colleague Waterford TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh said he supported the government’s decision to lift the ban.

"The decision was taken by Government and I would expect the members of the Green Party to support that government decision," he said.

Mr Varadkar said the Sinn Féin motion proposed extending the ban until the end of December and he questioned if it would be a good idea to end the ban after "Christmas week".

Speaking this morning the Taoiseach acknowledged that the decision to end the ban would cost the Government votes.

He said the decision "isn't popular".

He added it was "one that is hard to defend one that certainly isn't going to gain any votes for the Government parties.

"So why would we do it, except for the fact we think it is the right thing to do and that's why we did it."

He said in the last 50 years there were only two eviction bans and on "both of those occasions I was in Government".

Mr Varadkar added: "So I have no fears introducing an eviction ban if I thought it would work. The problem is that it didn't. For every month it was in place the numbers in homeless accommodation rose."

He said the ban was leading to "new forms of homelessness" as people returning home from abroad could not move into their properties.

He added there was the "medium term and longer term issue of really discouraging new landlords from coming into the market. We really need them".

But he said the decision to end the ban was a difficult decision "particularly for those who are going to experience it".

Eoin Ó Broin said the 'Government failed and need to extend the ban'

Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Hayden told RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne programme that he was working with people who are facing eviction threats hanging over them, but the solution for renters was not an ongoing extension of the moratorium.

He said that a suggestion by Sinn Féin that the moratorium be lifted at the end of the year just after Christmas had "no credibility".

He said that if that was the case, Sinn Féin would be back again at the end of the year saying it needed to be extended for longer again.

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Housing and TD for Dublin Mid West Eoin Ó Broin told the same programme that the Government are at a cliff edge as they "didn't take any emergency actions" during the eviction ban.

He suggested extending the ban only until the end of the year to see an easing of pressure on emergency accommodation and to ramp up supply of social and affordable homes, adding that the ban should only end when the pressure on emergency accommodation had reduced.

Mr Ó Broin suggested the Government buy rental properties to bring them into the social and affordable sectors and use some of the emergency powers used during Covid.

"Government failed and need to extend the ban and introduce emergency actions now," he said.

Additional reporting Cian McCormack