By Dominic McGrath, PA
A protest by mica homeowners in the coming days should be the last time they feel the need to demonstrate, the Minister for Housing has said.
Darragh O’Brien told the Dáil on Wednesday that he will bring a proposal to Government in the coming weeks on a revised compensation scheme for homeowners.
Campaigners want 100 per cent redress for homeowners whose properties were built using defective bricks containing excessive amounts of the mineral mica in Donegal, Mayo and other counties.
A draft report, compiled by a working group set up by Mr O’Brien, did not recommend 100 per cent redress, as demanded by campaigners.
Homeowners will again travel to Dublin on Friday to continue their campaign.
Responding to questions from Sinn Féin’s Padraig Mac Lochlainn, a Donegal TD, the Mr O'Brien said he understands the “tragedy” facing homeowners affected my mica.
“We’re committed to enhancing this scheme and progress has been made on it,” he said. I’m not going to delay.
“We have some work to do, and we’re doing that work right now.
“The next step is I will be bringing proposals and working through options to the three party leaders and indeed to my Cabinet colleagues and the Government will then make a decision in due course.
“I respect the right of people to protest, and I always have.
“I did say [to homeowners] that my work would not be completed by October 8th. They realised that and accepted that, and we had a good and open discussion around it.”
🚨This Friday 8th October, our families with crumbling homes will travel to Dublin to protest for fairness and equality, for 100% Mica and Pyrite Redress. They shouldn’t have to protest again but I am appealing to everyone to get behind them and stand with them this Friday🚨 pic.twitter.com/zfmlOTdwVm
— Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD (@PadraigMacL) October 5, 2021
He promised answers for homeowners in the coming weeks.
“We’re close to bringing forward quite significant enhancements,” Mr O’Brien told the Dail.
Mr Mac Lochlainn told the minister he hopes the Government will commit to 100 per cent redress for any home that needs to be demolished and rebuilt.
“Do not force them to come to Dublin again on Friday,” he said.
“I hope to God it’s the last time they have to come to this city to protest.
Mr O’Brien responded: “I too hope that the protest on the 8th of October will be the last time residents from those affected counties feel that they need to come and protest.”