November 1, 2023
“Defective Block campaigners have been let down time and time again” – MacManus 

“Defective Block campaigners have been let down time and time again” – MacManus 
 
Sinn Féin MEP visits Donegal as part of EU Fact Finding Mission
 
Sinn Féin MEP, Chris MacManus was one of six MEPs who travelled to County Donegalthis week to engage with residents, campaigners and experts as well as Donegal County Council on the defective concrete blocks used in the construction of buildings across the region. 
 
Speaking from Donegal, the Midlands Northwest MEP said “This is a key mission to raise the plight of homeowners affected by the defective blocks scandal and it’s mishandling at a national level. Over the last number of years I have met with numerous campaigners and visited affected properties alongside my local Sinn Féin colleagues and have a very clear understanding of the issues. These homeowners have been massively let down. Many thousands in the northwest of Ireland over the last two decades have been affected. 
 
This delegation from the European Parliament’s Petition’s Committee allows MEPs to directly investigate issues raised by a number of petitioners and to follow-up on their petitions received and debated by the Committee on the use of defective blocks in construction in Ireland. These petitions outline possible non-compliance with a number of EU Regulations and the potential lack of protection of homeowners.”
 
On Monday, the fact finding mission began with a meeting with individual petitioners who have been affected by the Defective Blocks Scandal and then met with representatives of campaign groups, including Lisa Hone, Mica Action Group, Patrick Sharkey, Redress Focus Group, Donna McDade, Banking and Insurance Focus group, Martina Hegarty, Campaign for justice for Mayo Homeowners and Dr. Martina Cleary, Pyrite campaigner. 
 
On Tuesday MacManus and the delegation visited affected buildings across the region and met with home owners before meeting with representatives of Donegal County Council. 
 
The Donegal leg of the mission concluded with a meeting with various experts on defective blocks including Dr. Paul Dunlop, Professor of Glaciology, Ulster University, Dr. Eileen Doherty, Lecturer in Digital Transformation, Ulster University and Charlie Byrne, independent engineer. 
 
The third and final day of the fact finding commission saw MacManus and his fellow MEPs meet in Dublin with Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage and officials, the National Building Control and Market Surveillance Office and the Pyrite Resolution Board.
 
Following the conclusion of the three-day fact finding mission, MacManus said, “This visit to Donegal further compounds my position that these homeowners have been terribly let down by the state. The situation continues to deteriorate. It is my hope and belief that at a European level there is now a new impetus to ensure tangible solutions for all those affected. Myself and my Sinn Féin colleagues will continue to work on behalf of campaigners to ensure a satisfactory conclusion can be reached. This must include a 100% redress and remediation scheme, delivered by a strengthened Pyrite Resolution Board rather than the sub-standard current grant scheme that will dent redress to most homeowners.” ENDS

Below from Left to Right: 
Maria Walsh MEP, Colm Markey MEP, Ms Dolors Montserrat MEP (Chair of the PETI Committee / Head of the delegation), Ms Tatjana Ždanoka MEP, Chris MacManus MEP (Sinn Féin) and Luke Flanagan MEP
Below: Photographs of affected properties in Donegal courtesy of Chris MacManus MEP

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