Monday, 15 February 2021
Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters
I thank the Minister of State for his reply and I have much hope from the fact that the necessary amendments will be considered.The defective concrete blocks grant scheme must be extended, beyond the two counties for which it was established, to Dublin Fingal and indeed probably other areas. The reason I am so invested in this issue is because the couple in question are retired. They are pensioners. They have absolutely no other way, without the intervention of State aid, to fix the home that they have raised their family in and in which they want to spend the autumn of their lives. They do not even have the ability to borrow money because of their age. We must step in as a State to recognise that there are families who are living in extreme distress because of this issue. I understand that when the criteria were established, a major catastrophe had occurred in Westmeath, Meath and Dublin, and in areas where there had been an onslaught of development in the early 2000s and where that development was being affected by pyrite heave in the product from certain quarries at that time. These are the people who are being left behind. Huge distress is being caused by this issue, in particular to the couple to whom I have referred.
I will send the report to the Minister of State. I have already communicated directly with the Pyrite Resolution Board. It has told me that the Act defines the date, so unless, by instruction of the Minister, the dates in the Act are relaxed, we will be in a difficult position. An easy way to spread that valuable funding allocated in this year's budget to help these people, to which the Minister of State referred, is to extend the defective concrete blocks grant scheme to Dublin.