Seanad debates

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Commencement Matters

Mica Redress Scheme

10:40 am

Photo of Pádraig MacLochlainnPádraig MacLochlainn (Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I understood these proposals were to be brought to Cabinet this week and that they were delayed until the new year, so I assume it will be mid-January before they are brought forward. I met the Minister of State, Deputy English, earlier this year. We had an extensive meeting and I believe him to be genuine in his efforts to resolve the issue. The members of the Mica Action Group are impressive people. They have made a significant impact on various Ministers, in particular on the Minister of State, Deputy English.

After that meeting, I did not play politics. I gave an honest assessment that I felt they were trying to progress matters, even though I was frustrated with how long it was taking. I am not going to play politics now because is far too important for that. I ask the Minister of State to please understand that families are posting videos on social media of their houses literally falling apart. Their hearts are broken. We need to say to those families, particularly those with houses in serious distress, that this is the last Christmas they will have to endure this. They need to know that, as early as possible in 2019, there will be a scheme under way whereby people can apply and get their homes examined and made safe. That has to be the priority.

I end 2018 speaking to the Minister of State and, no doubt, the officials in the various Departments who are listening to the debate. I ask them to please make sure 2018 is the last year when we have to appeal for this and that it will be in place so families can make their homes safe. I conclude 2018 by making that appeal.

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