December 1, 2021
Clare homeowners are still excluded from defective block justice – Violet-Anne Wynne TD

Sinn Féin TD for Clare Violet-Anne Wynne has called for the acceleration of the inclusion of Clare homes in the national defective concrete block grant scheme.

On the 23rd July, Clare County Council submitted a final report compiled by IS:465 specialist engineer, who is the country’s leading expert on the damage caused by defective blocks and has pioneered testing in other counties including Donegal and Mayo.

In August, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien visited Clare and spoke to homeowner affected and witnessed first-hand the sever level of structural damage at play here in Clare.

On 30th November Minister O’Brien has met with homeowners in Donegal and Mayo to announce preliminary expansion of the scheme and what the new package includes.

Teachta Wynne said:

“It’s unconscionable that the inclusion of Clare folk on the scheme is still being questioned. Months down the line and after years of incrementally worsening situations for the families living under these cracking buildings – it is just not good enough.

“The report submitted by Clare County Council in July was meticulously compiled – all T’s were crossed and I’s dotted.

“They conducted the rigorous sampling as required by the Department, and in the last few weeks have been told that additional technical data is needed.

“This is a stalling technique, and it is clear as the light of day that this Cabinet is playing with people lives, homes and mental health.

“The scheme is repeatedly referred to as the ‘Mica Redress Scheme’ in mainstream media which obviously doesn’t inspire confidence for Clare folk but this latest correspondence from the DHLGH is just salt in the wound.

“The Department of Housing needs to broaden the national redress scheme as soon as possible. We know that the delay in acknowledging the legitimacy of their structural challenges is having a massively negative impact on the wellbeing of these families.

“Yesterday in the chambers the Taoiseach avoided the question as to whether it was even 100% redress for those already included on the scheme, namely homeowners in Donegal and Mayo.

“The Taoiseach is asking to ‘depoliticise’ the issue. This is not possible. This is about justice. This is about accountability. And this is a about flagrant abuse of power, and Cetic-tiger cronyism that allowed this to happen in the first instance – but now it is normal people who are suffering the fallout.

“Clare must be included in the scheme ASAP and the political footballing with people’s homes must end. I do not accept and support the exclusive and divisive terms of this scheme.”

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