September 23, 2021
Minister O’Brien’s stalling tactics are insult to injury for Clare homeowners – Violet-Anne Wynne TD

Sinn Féin TD for Clare Violet-Anne Wynne has spoken out against the ongoing inaction from government to respond and remedy the ever-growing difficulties faced by homeowners affected by defective blocks.  

Responding to the recent announcement by Minister O’Brien that including Clare homeowners into the National Redress Scheme will require consideration from the Attorney General and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Teachta Wynne said: 

“The recent statement by Minister O’Brien is more of the same – a delaying tactic in what is inevitable and has been rigorously proven as such. There is at least 90 homes and two estates affected by pyrite defective blocks, but the real number may indeed be much higher. The Governments stall tactics are insult to injury.

“Based on my engagement with the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) and the people on the ground here in Clare, there is a high level of stress and anxiety among families affected by pyrite/mica defective blocks. 

“The physical deterioration of their properties is one thing, but the governments lack of responsibility is creating its own impact of psychological damage. These homes are crumbling, and these families are falling apart and there seems to be no accountability. 

“The negligence on behalf of the state to address the issue meaningfully and offer the appropriate redress to affected families is causing serious illness; breakdown of marriages and families and it is putting a lot of people in very dangerous circumstances. 

“At the minute the redress scheme is very complicated, there is no support, financial or logistical, with the application itself. The application process and requirements are not something the average person can undertake. There is a huge lack of support in every area of the process.  

“In Clare, homeowners continue to be kept in the dark as they still haven’t even been officially included in the redress scheme and waiting all of this time is making things worse. 

“There’s two things at hand here, one being to get Clare homeowners onto the scheme, and the second being to get the scheme actually fit-for-purpose, none of this 90% redress malarkey. 

“It’s still unclear what discretion local authorities will have in determining eligibility for the scheme, and if there will be difference between the inclusion criteria between counties – Clare folk have many reasons to be anxious. 

“We’ve heard from over 20 Mayo homeowners that their eligibility, confirmed through rigorous testing and legitimate IS:645 engineer reports, is being contested by the council. 

“Something that is very important for everyone to remember in this is that, this is of absolutely no fault of the people.

“These blocks were bought in good faith, assurance was given that they were CE certified, but now we see that the blocks are defective – that is on the government and the light-touch building regulations that allowed unregulated construction materials and developments to plough ahead.  

“This is a classic case of government negligence and then denial of accountability when something goes wrong. The government has a duty of care to its citizens and has a positive obligation to offer redress to the homeowners who are seeing their dreams and their futures crumble before their eyes.”

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