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27/09/2021

McBrearty warns minister legal challenges may follow if mica redress issues not clarified

'Do not forget us - Cllr Frank McBrearty

McBrearty warns minister legal challenges may follow if mica redress issues not clarified

Cllr Frank McBrearty

Independent county councillor Frank McBrearty, has sent a stark warning to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O'Brien, - ignore us at your peril.

The seasoned Raphoe-based public representative is unhappy with some of the minister's assertions in today's issue of the Sunday Independent.

He claims the focus on mica problems appeared to be centred on Inishowen judging by the make up of the working group and warned many properties in East Donegal, the Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District, Letterkenny, Fanad peninsula, May and Sligo and other areas should not be forgotten.

Cllr McBrearty points out that in his interview in today's Sunday Independent, Minister O'Brien disclosed that the Government is considering a public inquiry into the mica  controversy.

He adds: "The proposal by you to have a working  group from these groups: MAG, representatives from Donegal and Mayo and Local Authority representatives has not included us, Donegal Lives Matter/Mayo & Sligo Lives Also Matter Justice for Mica, in this working group.

"The taoiseach, tániste, minister for the environment, and you have been written to by us and we have received no reply to date.

"If you continue to ignore us and not engage with our committee we reserve the right to challenge any decision by you or recommendations from the groups above in a judicial review before the courts.

Cllr McBrearty pointed out that the groups the Government had engaged with have no experience in tribunals, investigations or civil proceedings as they do.

"Furthermore if and when a tribunal is established we expect that we the victims in this scandal will be given the opportunity with our legal teams to engage with the Government in the setting of any terms of reference so that our stories can be properly told. We also reserve the right to challenge in the courts you and the Government if you fail to do so."

He stressed it was wrong for Donegal County Council to  investigate itself and therefore cannot be involved in any process involving mica/pyrite due to all the allegations being made against them and all the allegations coming out concerning their role in this scandal to date, which include Cassidy's Concrete Products and Quarry.

"Mica Action Group, any other group or any other individuals do not represent us and we hope that is clear to you and your advisers. I have raised a number of issues with you already concerning this and more will follow."

Cllr McBrearty pointed out he hoped the minister had noted a very major conflict of interest he had already highlighted.

"I expect that you will take notice of what I have written to you to date. We reserve the right to challenge this appointment in the courts if you do not investigate the possibility of a conflict of interest.

"We also reserve the right to bring this to the attention of the Standards in Public Office if you ignore us and that they will investigate you for any conflicts that may have arisen or may arise with this appointment.

He added: "Minister, you are finally admitting in the Sunday Independent what I have been putting to you, the taoiseach, tánaiste and minister for the environment in my many correspondence/emails to date.

"But as time goes on you will be forced to admit to a lot more due to the continued  pressure we will put on you and the Government.

"As a public representative I have been calling for a public inquiry into this scandal since 2012 and you will have seen this in my emails to date.

"As a member of the mica committee on Donegal Co Council, I hope you don't continue to ignore my role as a member of the council that represents almost 30,000 people in East Donegal/Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District.

Finally I hope you are taking notice of what I informed you of about the conduct of the banks, insurance companies and vulture funds and what they have been doing to innocent home and property owners with homes/properties that are worthless.

"We will be asking people to consider their position with their banks or vulture funds that have and are harassing them concerning properties that are worth only the site they sit on.

"You should now inform the banks and vulture funds that you will pay the site value for these property owners in order to ease their terrible burden put on them by you and Government to date.

"Banks have already been paid out by insurance bonds on defaulted mortgages, so they have been well covered. The vulture funds are now too well aware that banks sold them mica and pyrite properties, which were worthless, but that is their problem, greed.

"We look forward to you engaging immediately with our committee in a constructive and meaningful way. We won't let go like others, we have the experience in fighting corruption," he said.

 

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