McConalogue best-placed to get 100% for mica homeowners 'as Cabinet minister' 

McConalogue best-placed to get 100% for mica homeowners 'as Cabinet minister' 

Homeowners outside the Department of the Taoiseach last week during a protest by mica- affected homeowners from Mayo and Donegal seeking 100% redress for the faulty concrete in their homes. Picture: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has said he is best placed to fight for 100% costs for Mica-affected homeowners by staying at Cabinet and not resigning.

Mr McConalogue was commenting after his Fianna Fáil party colleagues Dara Calleary and Marc MacSharry indicated they would resign the party whip if the Government does not move to cover all costs associated with fixing or demolishing the affected homes.

I have made a very clear commitment to the people in Donegal, that I at the Cabinet table will do all I can to deliver 100% redress. 

"We'll be working to get the outcome that our homeowners deserve and need to get their lives back on track. And the best way for me to do that is as a Cabinet minister. To be in there, working with everyone, and ultimately, the key task then will be delivering,” Mr McConalogue said.

Speaking after Cabinet, Mr McConalogue said: “I've made it very clear that I will be the Donegal voice in Cabinet. I will be working to deliver 100% redress for these families working with my Government colleagues.”

Cost implications

He said the Cabinet has to look at the €1bn scheme in all its details and look at the cost implications, how this scheme can be amended.

The Taoiseach and Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien have been very clear that they understand the scheme does need to be changed and extended, he said.

He said there is a process now in place involving the homeowners which will conclude by the end of July and he said he will leave no one in any doubt as to the support these families require.

Earlier, four Fianna Fáil senators raised the issue of mica in the Seanad and demanded 100% redress.

The session heard from Senator Lisa Chambers who told those present: “I reiterate how important it is that we get 100% redress for the homeowners affected by this issue. 

I have visited homes in Mayo and seen the cracks in walls. I could put my hand through them. 

"I cannot imagine how difficult it is for people to sit in their homes and wonder when the wall will crumble, whether it is safe, if their kids are going to be okay and what they will do to rebuild their homes and lives.

'Parity and equality'

“We expect parity and equality for the people of the West and North-West. We want this Government to deliver 100% redress for the people affected,” she said.

Clare Senator Timmy Dooley said: “We will not accept anything less than 100% redress. I have visited the homes affected and to say the homeowners are devastated by what is happening is an understatement. Their walls are crumbling and their lives are decimated. The State needs to stand behind them.”

Donegal’s Niall Blaney called on the Government to contact the insurance companies and ask them to give a lump sum over the next 10 to 20 years, or whatever is necessary, towards making up the extra 10%. 

Similarly, Home Bond could make that contribution over the next ten to 20 years, as could Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, he said.

 

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