Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has again appealed to the Government to put in place a redress scheme for the thousands of Donegal families affected by mica defective concrete blocks in their homes. He raised the matter again in the Seanad today with the Minister of State for Housing Damien English.
Senator Mac Lochlainn said:
“The long delayed report of the Expert Panel on these defective concrete blocks was published last June. A year behind schedule. Another year of anguish and distress for the thousands of affected families across Donegal and Mayo.
“While the terms of reference set by Government for that report were limited, it is clear that the findings and recommendations point to the failure of this State to ensure that concrete blocks, the core component of the family home in Ireland, were manufactured to a safe standard. The failure in State regulation also extended to building control standards and legislation.
“In other words, this State failed so many families in Donegal. Families who had undertaken the largest financial outlay in their lives, the mortgage or loan for their family home have been left badly exposed. Therefore the State has to step up and support these families to make their homes safe with a redress scheme as was the case for the families in Dublin and North Leinster affected by pyrite in their homes a number of years back.
“I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by Minister English’s response today. These Donegal families have lost another year already with the delay in publishing the Expert Panel report. Another four months later and we still have no financial relief for those families.
“It was very telling today that when my colleague Mayo Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway Walsh asked Minister English whether he has sought a line in the upcoming budget to ensure financial assistance for the affected families, he avoided the question.
“The Government need to do the right thing and they need to do it now. They need to deliver fairness and justice for families, whether they live in Dublin or Donegal and Mayo.”