Mr Varadkar’s Fine Gael party suffered its worst electoral performance in Sunday’s general election, as it trailed in third behind Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein. Despite a booming economy, the party was punished by voters for its failure to deal with the country’s housing crisis, caused by soaring rental prices and a lack of affordable housing. According to Government data, some 10,000 people are living in emergency accommodation and considered homeless.
However, on Tuesday the incumbent Taoiseach tried to justify his Government’s performance on housing in a tweet.
Mr Varadkar wrote: “Confirmed: more than 21,000 new homes built last year and 3,000 more brought back into use.
“Should reach 25,000 this year. More than 30,000 next.
“That’s what’s sustainable and deliverable.”
Unfortunately, Mr Varadkar’s attempts to put the record straight appeared to have spectacularly backfired, as angry voters took to twitter to attack the Irish prime Minister.
One wrote: “Leo these are not homes for poor.
“Leave it to Mary Lou and Can you please just leave government and dont let the door hit you on the way out.”
Another commented: “Stop trying to mislead people. These are private developments and it costs people huge rents.
“No doubt @MurphyEoghan will be spinning this bad news as ‘evidence of progress’.”
And a fourth fumed: “Who were they built for? Not working class people, unless they get money from parents to help.
“These houses are for you pals & hedge funds, not forgetting landlord TDs so they can screw us for even bigger rents.
“Fund councils to build for Irish families. We’ve given enough away!”
This comes as Ireland is still coming to terms with the stunning success of Sinn Fein in Sunday’s general election.
The nationalist party won 37 seats and came second to the eventual winners Fianna Fail, who had 38 MPs elected.
Sinn Fein’s President Mary Lou McDonald immediately sought to exploit her party’s success to push for a reunification referendum.
She called on the European Union to support Irish reunification, in a move that is likely to infuriate Boris Johnson.
Appearing on BBC’s Newsnight on Monday, Ms McDonald said: ““I think the European Union needs to take a stand in respect of Ireland in the same way that it supported the re-unification of Germany, in the same way that it has a position on Cyprus, for example, and a positive approach to the re-unification of that country.”