Clare’s Sinn Féin TD has said affected homes in Clare should be included in defective block redress scheme and has described Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien’s ‘stalling tactics’ as insulting to Clare folk.
Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne TD was speaking in the lead up to a protest in Ennis today, organised by local group the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG). She has decried the continued exclusion of Clare homeowners from defective block redress.
Deputy Wynne has also expressed disappointment that a Ministerial briefing with Clare Oireachtas members, scheduled for Thursday the 27th was cancelled last minute .
Minister O’Brien visited Clare and affected homeowners in Kilkishen in August 2021. Parliamentary question responses received since the have explicitly stated that the same ‘rigorous testing’ as was applied in Donegal and Mayo would need to be applied here in order for the redress scheme to be extended to Clare people.
Deputy Wynne said: “It is unfortunate that the meeting with the Minister was cancelled this week. Clare people need answers, they have been more than patient and it is high-time they were given clarity on the extension of the scheme.
“The Defective Concrete Blocks Remediation Bill is on the Oireachtas legislative programme for Spring. This means that at some point over the next 3 months the details of this scheme will be finalised and writing into law. It is imperative that the Department acknowledges the presence of pyrite in the core sampling conducted across Clare last year.
“Minister O’Brien has repeated to me, through multiple correspondences that the same ‘rigorous testing’ that was required in Donegal and Mayo would be applied here and in order to confirm the presence of the deleterious material pyrite, at which point Clare would be included in the terms of the scheme.
“What we have seen since then, is a consistent and strategic political footballing of the issue. Rigorous testing has been conducted which has proved, unequivocally that pyrite was present in the 5 homes core sampled across the county, but apparently it is not enough. It has not been the same testing; it has been extra hoops to jump through; additional testing, above and beyond that which was required in other counties.
“Suddenly the standard IS:465 protocol wasn’t sufficient. The goalposts keep changing, and keeping Clare folk on tenterhooks until the final moment is bad-taste, unjust and doing untold damage to the mental health of those unlucky enough affected here in Clare.
I implore the Minister to stand by his commitment and reveal that Clare is in fact on the scheme as soon as is practicable to do so. Delaying and delaying is cruel. People’s lives, homes and futures hang in the balance,” Ms Wynne added.