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23/10/2021

Fitzpatrick calls for defective block scheme to apply nationwide, as mica protestors take to Dublin

Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick to vote against the abortion bill proposal later today

Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick has called for the defective block scheme to apply nationwide

A Dundalk TD has queried why there is no national scheme in place for people impacted by defective blocks, saying that people in Louth have been impacted by the ongoing scandal.

Independent TD for Louth, Peter Fitzpatrick, raised the issue in the Dáil last week, asking Tánaiste Leo Varadkar whether or not the scheme will be expanded to be nationwide, rather than just in Mayo and Donegal, the counties worst impacted by mica.

“The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage tells me there is ongoing engagement with a number of local authorities and local action groups on requests for extension of the scheme to other counties,” said Deputy Fitzpatrick. 

“Fair play to Donegal and Mayo but we cannot split the country in half. We need to treat the citizens of Ireland the same.”

He said that the issue is causing serious mental health problems for people impacted, and says that everyone in the country impacted should be able to access the scheme.

“Families have to leave their homes and keep paying their mortgages. If a house is deemed unfit a family cannot live in it.

“We all deserve to be treated the same. Please do not split the country. Please let everyone be able to join the scheme.”

In response, the Tánaiste told Deputy Fitzpatrick that the government is working on an “enhanced scheme” to assist those who have been impacted by both pyrite and mica.

He said that this included considerations of whether the scheme should be national or county-based, and if selected, it would be run by the Housing Agency rather than local authorities like Louth County Council

“If a house is affected by mica or pyrite it is affected by mica or pyrite and what county it is in should not make a difference,” said the Tánaiste.

It comes as mica protestors from Donegal and other counties impacted by the defective blocks protested in Dublin en mass, as part of efforts to secure a 100% redress scheme for their houses.

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