Homeowners facing ‘massive’ costs despite redress, pyrite group says

‘Changes that need to be made will be made’ to redress scheme, FF TD Dara Calleary says

Members of North Mayo Pyrite Group and MAG Mica Action Group Donegal protesting outside the Dáil in September. Photograph: Alan Betson

Members of North Mayo Pyrite Group and MAG Mica Action Group Donegal protesting outside the Dáil in September. Photograph: Alan Betson

Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
For a better experience use Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

 

A leading member of the North Mayo Pyrite Group says homeowners facing demolition and rebuild will still be massively out of pocket and warned of renewed street protests in Dublin against the redress scheme announced by the Government on Monday.

Gina Laffey, who lives and works in her native Foxford, says she dreads a further winter in her “crumbling home” which she bought three years ago but which is now rapidly deteriorating due to mica, the presence of which was first indicated by a scum on the inside sittingroom wall.

She initially had high hopes for the redress scheme but these hopes were dashed by the weekend by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien’s proposal.

“Not many people would be getting the €420,000 [top payment]”, she said. Definitely I would not be getting it.”

News Digests

Stay on top of the latest newsSIGN UP HERE

Asked what would be the shortfall for her, Ms Laffey gave an estimate of between €70,000 and €80,000

“I can’t afford that,” she said. “A person on my own paying my own mortgage. How could I and others like me be able to pay this back?”

Sliding scale

The group has demanded the removal of the sliding scale that means the payments per square foot go down after the first 1,000 square feet.

Under the scheme, homeowners rebuilding their houses will be offered €145 per square foot for the first 1,000sq ft of their home, dropping to €110 per square foot for the second 1,000sq ft.

“I am hoping that the Minister goes back and has a conversation with other political leaders that the scheme is not fit for purpose. We want the sliding scale removed. Otherwise we will be back on the streets again.”

Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary has sought to soothe mounting concerns over the terms of the revised scheme to deal with the pyrite and mica issues in the areas worst affected – north Mayo, Donegal and Sligo – by saying the figures used are interim ones which will be “updated next spring”.

He told Midwest Radio: “Changes that need to be made will be made.”