Dáil debates

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Defective Building Materials

3:55 pm

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State. I appreciate his statement. I know he will talk directly to his party leader and we all look forward to the meeting between the three party leaders. His colleague, Michael White, in Moville, has contacted the mica group in the past few days.

Once again, to focus on the issue of timeliness, this has gone on too long. There is nobody more disappointed than me that the original scheme did not work out. I worked closely with the mica group on it but when a thing is not working, we all have to put up our hands and figure out a better way. I totally accept that the Minister and his officials are working on a more enhanced scheme. There was very little detail in the report presented to us last week, so it is very important that the detail will be there. I am a little concerned by the word "weeks". It does not really say when and we should really nail that down.

A strong message will come from the city centre protest tomorrow. Many people will be there, including many who are not directly affected by mica. There has been such solidarity on this issue because Irish people are good at putting their feet into other people's shoes. For any homeowners not affected by mica, it is hard to even comprehend what it is like. While many people spent their time during lockdown talking about doing up their gardens and houses, building extensions and all that, that nightmare continued for so many people.

I again thank the Minister of State for his time. It is another opportunity to keep this issue alive and on the agenda. It will be very much on the agenda tomorrow, with people power and feet on the ground. The reason I raised the issue of William and Trish and their family is that it is an example of so many families who have spent seven to ten years living that nightmare. They are out of their homes. William sent a message to me today saying he does not want to be a victim. People with mica in their homes do not want to be victims in this scenario. They want it sorted, they want 100% redress and they want the Government to do the right thing by making that scheme accessible and affordable for them. We have to move on from this.

When William and Trish look their young adult children in the eyes, they have to do so in the full knowledge that their parents did everything they could. William is a former chair of the Mica Action Group. He has done everything but he does not feel that he has. We have to bring this to a quick conclusion.


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