Mica and pyrite action groups declare intent to set up political party

The action groups intend to run local and general election candidates in any county affected by defective blocks.
Mica and pyrite action groups declare intent to set up political party

By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Five defective blocks action groups have said they had begun the process to set up a political party to represent their cause, after accusing the Government of failing to help their cause.

It comes after Donegal activists suggested in December that a political grouping may be formed, which could cause problems for political parties in the five-seater constituency.

Defective building blocks containing excessive deposits of the minerals mica and pyrite have seen thousands of properties start to crumble across the country.

Politicians were warned during a marathon seven-hour Oireachtas committee last week that the problem of defective building blocks could emerge in every county across the country, with one expert describing it as a “ticking timebomb”.

They were also warned that the Government’s Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, which offers 100 per cent grants of up to €420,000 per dwelling, does not go far enough for those affected.

The five groups forming the political party are the Donegal Mica Action Group, Mayo Pyrite Action Group, Clare Pyrite Action Group, Limerick Pyrite Action Group and Sligo Pyrite Action Group.

The action groups said on Tuesday they intend to run local and general election candidates in any county affected by the defective building blocks issue.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the groups said: “Yesterday, 4th July 2022, the Action Groups registered their intentions with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties at Leinster House to establish a political party to contest the next General and Local Elections.

“It is our intention to run candidates in all affected counties in local and national elections.”

It said that although homes in the four counties of Donegal, Mayo, Clare and Limerick are covered by the 2.7 billion euro Defective Concrete Block Scheme, it believes the same problem “is manifesting in 13 counties so far”.

“We will be making contact with victims in these other affected counties to establish action groups and asking each group to work under the umbrella of this new political party.

“We will also be making contact with campaigners who are fighting in our cities for remediation of thousands of defective apartments and town houses.

“Now is the time for all those who are suffering as a result of ineffective Government ‘light-touch’ regulation and corporate neglect to come together to demand justice, and for our homes, properties and lives to be restored.”

Speaking to RTÉ Drivetime on Tuesday, Michael Doherty, of the Mica Action Group, said that they had yet to work out the details of how many candidates they would field.

“As campaigners, I think we’ve been very, very successful and I don’t expect us to be any less successful in this endeavour either.”

The groups made the announcement ahead of a two-hour debate scheduled in the Dail on Wednesday evening on the Government’s compensation scheme, which is estimated could top three billion euro.

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