Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has expressed frustration following the Housing Minister’s failure to attend a Dáil debate on the MICA situation in Donegal. Deputy McConalogue tabled a question during Dáil time seeking answers over the continued delay in the publication of the Expert Panel report into problems caused by MICA in homes in Co. Donegal.
However, Minister English failed to appear for the debate, and Junior Health Minister Catherine Byrne was forced to take the question instead.
Deputy McConalogue explained, “Minister English’s refusal to engage with me in the Chamber on this issue is typical of the lack of priority and urgency the Government has shown in dealing with this issue. The response delivered by Minister Byrne was practically a carbon copy of every Parliamentary Question reply which I have been given over the past number of months.
“The Government’s original commitment, which was announced in November 2015, some three months before the General Election, was that the report from the Expert Panel would be finished by the end of May last year. We are almost one year on from that deadline and there is still no report in the public domain. The Minister cannot continue to avoid this issue.
“There are families in Donegal and in other parts of the country who are waiting on the findings. The publication of the report is only a starting point for these families. We must then determine what supports, remedies and schemes need to be put in place to provide financial assistance to families, whose homes have been affected by these defective blocks. I will continue to press this issue with Minister English – these delaying tactics will not be tolerated any longer and the Government must publish this report at once”, concluded Deputy McConalogue.