Option for 100% mica redress remains on the table, says Varadkar

FG representatives sought meeting following intensifying pressure from constituents for solution

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar: ‘The existing scheme is clearly not adequate and there is a need for an enhanced scheme.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar: ‘The existing scheme is clearly not adequate and there is a need for an enhanced scheme.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

The potential for 100 per cent redress for owners of homes affected by mica “remains on the table”, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said following a meeting with party colleagues from the areas most affected.

Fine Gael representatives from counties Donegal, Mayo, Clare and Limerick had sought the meeting following intensifying pressure from constituents to find a solution.

Mica, a crumbling defective substance used in the construction of homes and buildings predominantly in the north west of the country, has left many families in languishing uncertainty regarding their futures.

Ongoing protests and demands from groups affected have placed mounting pressure on politicians to amend an existing capped scheme that many insist costs them too much money to carry out repairs.

On Friday, the Fine Gael delegation called for urgency in bringing about a final decision.

“The existing scheme is clearly not adequate and there is a need for an enhanced scheme,” Mr Varadkar said in a statement.

“This is overdue. I have been in homes affected by Mica, met families affected and felt the walls of those homes crumble in my hands. Government has a duty to step in when extra-ordinary situations like these arise. I look forward to the proposals being brought forward by my colleague the Minister for Housing in the very near future.”

The Tánaiste also emphasised the possibility of a 100 per cent compensation remains in place.

‘Daily and nightly trauma’

Donegal Deputy Joe Mc Hugh, one of those who attended the meeting, said people “are dealing with this daily and nightly trauma in parallel with the real life challenges of sickness, bereavement, family pressures and other financial strains”.

Mayo TD Alan Dillon said a workable solution was necessary to give “comfort to people and the future of their homes”.

Meanwhile in New York, Taoiseach Micheál Martin played down reports homeowners had been told by Department of Housing officials that a 100 per cent redress scenario would not happen.

He said Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien had told him talks on the subject were ongoing and that he, the Taoiseach, was awaiting a full report on the situation, with some form of Government proposals anticipated by early October.