Car bookings

A senator forced to sleep in a car for the next few weeks after being unable to find a hotel room in Dublin

A campaign-based senator is likely to be sleeping in his car for the next two to three weeks because he can’t get a hotel room.

Eugene Murphy from Roscommon told the Irish Mirror he had only been able to find accommodation in Dublin for one night in the past three weeks.

And he can’t find anywhere to stay for the next two or three weeks due to the chronic shortage of rooms and exorbitant prices in the capital.

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The Fianna Fail senator has a 288km round trip to his home in Roscommon so he fears he will have to sleep in his car if there is an overnight Seanad sitting.

Mr Murphy told the Mirror he had twice slept in his car in a ‘petrol station car park’ in the past two months instead of coming home late at night.

He added: ‘I was going over my cases there and for the last three weeks I’ve managed to get one night in Dublin, that was last Tuesday night – I’ve been home most other nights.

“And I asked the hotel to book for this week and next week and they couldn’t take any bookings, and when I asked about the following week they said they couldn’t guarantee , but to come back.

“I would stay anywhere to be honest, and I know there are people who are far worse than me, but it’s just a sign of the times that there is no accommodation.” Mr Murphy’s home in Roscommon is 90 miles from Leinster House.

Read more: Fianna Fail senator sleeps in his car due to lack of hotel rooms in Dublin

“This puts him in the fourth installment for the generous travel and accommodation allowance paid to politicians and he receives €25,169 a year under this expenditure heading. Taoiseach Micheal Martin was asked about the problem of politicians sleeping in cars and he said he didn’t believe it was a common occurrence.

Mr Martin said: ‘I don’t think it’s a widespread phenomenon, to be frank.

“But clearly tourism has rebounded as we saw in the numbers this morning.

“There is always pressure in a city like Dublin in terms of accommodation, but I don’t think there are too many TDs sleeping in cars.

“But there are pressures on housing, that’s for sure.”

Meanwhile, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said the glut of concerts, matches and other big events in Dublin over the summer is another reason politicians are struggling to get hotel rooms.

He added: “I have never had cases like this presented to me before.

“But people will regularly have difficulty finding accommodation as summer approaches.”

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