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26/10/2021

Outcome of the mica/pyrite talks will weigh heavily on future voting choices - Donegal action group

“Whoever delivers gets my vote, it’s my home I need to save"

Failure to reimburse Donegal mica homeowners

Mica-affected home

The mica/pyrite crisis is taking on a bigger political dimension with 80% of mica homeowners reporting the outcome of the current talks will have a huge bearing on who they vote for in future elections.

That is according to a recent survey carried out by the Mica Action Group.

35% said they would vote for candidates who had supported defective block homeowners, with a further 55% stating their support for a candidate who was prepared stand with the people and defy the party whip to vote in favour of 100% redress should it come that.

The mood of the homeowners was very clearly summed up in their comments:

“The people who support us and are not afraid to put themselves out there for us are the people I will vote for” 

“Political reps need to drive for 100% redress”

Given how long the crisis has dragged on unresolved, with some homeowners dealing with the devastating consequences for almost a decade, they feel let down and ignored. 

“Very disappointed with political reps, 11 years later and they still have nothing done to resolve this crisis”

“It is difficult to believe the politicians, because so many promises have been made in opposition and then broken once they get into power”

The sentiment now is that the time for talking is over and nothing less than action to provide a speedy and effective solution was good enough.

“Whoever delivers gets my vote, it’s my home I need to save – actual physical, written Dail approved 100% guarantee and 100% redress” 

A spokesperson for the Mica Action Group said: "For the sitting TDs in affected counties, it is impossible to ignore the overwhelming impact the crisis is having on peoples’ lives, and how such a fundamental blow to their security and well-being will necessarily translate into voting choices

"How TDs handle themselves now, particularly those in the coalition government who can influence the outcome of the talks, is being very closely scrutinized by the local electorate. At the time of writing, 13 of the 15 coalition TDs in affected counties Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Clare, Limerick and Tipperary had declared themselves as standing with their constituents in favour of 100% redress for affected homeowners."

Michael Doherty of the Mica Action Group said: "The mood on the ground amongst affected homeowners, their families and communities is one of intense frustration and anxiety. With the numbers of homes affected growing, this issue is top of mind amongst huge sections of the communities along the west coast.

"People are scarred by dealing with this issue for years on end, their extended family and friends understand the devastating impact it is having on their lives, unless this is resolved very quickly people will make their feelings very clear next time they are called to the ballot box. The choice for all politicians is stark – fight for your people who need you now, or suffer the consequences when we go to the polls, your choices now will live long in the electorate’s memory.”

"It can only be hoped that all Oireachtas members recognise the crisis for the national emergency that it is and act with the empathy and urgency required. The Government will receive the recommendations from the civil servants involved in the working group by September 30 at the latest and will then it will be up to Minister Darragh O’Brien to present his recommendations to Cabinet.

"One of the issues with current scheme is that after being approved by Ministers, once passed into the hands of government officials its content and shape changed from what homeowners had anticipated and needed. It is therefore vital if a new scheme is accepted by homeowners and approved by Government, the Minister for Housing realises his responsibilities right through to implementation to ensure it does what it says on the tin."

483 registered affected households responded to the survey conducted by the Mica Action Group in September 2021.

The Mica Action Group (MAG) is a campaign and lobby group made up of volunteers from Donegal, formed in early 2014 by individuals whose own homes are crumbling due to defective blocks. The objective of the group is to seek full redress for homeowners affected by this issue by campaigning on a national and local level. 

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