Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has hit out at the Government for failing to publish the Expert Panel report on its investigation into the problems caused by MICA in a large number of homes in the county.
The report was initially due to be completed last May, but more than a year on it has still not been published. Deputy McConalogue has received confirmation from Minister of State Damien English that the panel had concluded its meetings and was in the process of finalising the report which is undergoing legal proofing.
Deputy McConalogue explained, “I have been following up with Minister English on an almost monthly basis to try and establish why this report has been so extensively delayed. On every occasion – most recently the 23rd February, 6th April and now again on the 4th May the response from the Minister has been a carbon copy of the previous reply. This is not good enough.
“This is an extremely serious situation that many homeowners have found themselves in, yet the Minister has not even taken the time to provide a definitive answer to the Parliamentary Questions I submitted seeking a timeframe for the publication of the report. Thousands of homeowners have been left in the lurch and are extremely frustrated with the way the situation has been handled.
“There are families across Donegal whose homes are thought to have been built with defective blocks, which has now resulted in major structural problems. Many of them have been living in unstable houses for years without any resolution in sight. We have seen a similar situation in Dublin and some commuter counties where pyrite has rendered many homes uninhabitable. In those cases the Government set up a compensation scheme to deal with that issue and I believe a similar scheme needs to be implemented for homeowners in Donegal.
“This issue needs immediate action and I am renewing my call for Minister English to provide assistance as a matter of urgency and set a date for the publication of the Expert Panel’s report. It is a living nightmare for the families whose homes are affected and the Government needs to address the issue as a matter of urgency”.