Fianna Fáil Senator Darragh O’Brien has hit out at the Government for refusing to accept constructive proposals on helping people whose homes are destroyed by pyrite.

The North Dublin Senator has accused Fine Gael and Labour of ‘playing politics with people’s homes’ after they rejected legislation to provide a greater chance of redress to pyrite homeowners. The Bill, put forward by Senator O’Brien, extends the statute of limitations to give the 72,000 homeowners affected by pyrite more time to seek remuneration.

Senator O’Brien said, “This is a simple piece of legislation that would have made a huge difference to the homeowners affected. In fact it was one of the recommendations in the report from the Pyrite Review Group. But still the Government voted it down, for no reason as far as I can see other than because it wasn’t their own idea.

“It is disgraceful that the Government is still dragging their heels on this and that they think it’s okay to play politics with people’s homes. They have missed every single deadline on this issue and the longer it drags on, the more people will be barred by the Statute of Limitations from seeking redress. Their response to my proposals and to the concerns of homeowners affected by pyrite has been woefully inadequate.

“I and my party have tabled a series of amendments to the Government’s property tax legislation in the Dáil and Seanad to ensure that homeowners affected by pyrite are exempt from property taxes. If Fine Gael and Labour insist on slapping a punitive tax on the family home while failing to tackle the mortgage crisis, the very least they could do is ensure that homes destroyed by pyrite are not subject to this tax.”

Statute of Limitations (Amendment) (Home Remediation-Pyrite) Bill 2012