Statement on Defective Concrete Block Working Group Meeting
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, this evening attended the final meeting of the Defective Concrete Blocks Working Group.
The Minister thanked the working group for their engagement and involvement in the process over the past number of months.
Minister O’Brien acknowledged that the current scheme is not working as originally intended. He understands the stress and the hardship which affected homeowners are facing and assured them that enhancements would be made to the current scheme.
Commenting he said, “The homeowner representatives have submitted a very detailed proposal as to what they wish to see in an enhanced scheme and I would like to thank them for their engagement and proposals. I expect to have receipt of the report of the working group tomorrow which I will then consider.
“As for the next steps, I will, along with the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister Ryan, Minister Donohoe and Minister McGrath, and with input from the Attorney General, consider proposals which can then be presented to Cabinet in a memo. I intend to bring this memo to Cabinet in the coming weeks.
“I agree wholeheartedly with the homeowner representatives that what has happened to them is through absolutely no fault of their own. Let me be very clear that there will be no delaying this process. I absolutely understand the urgency associated with this matter and I want a scheme which works for people. As I have said from the start, enhancements to the scheme will be required and will be made with whole of Government approval. I will be meeting with and briefing colleagues in Government on this matter over the coming days,” he concluded.
Note to Editor:
In June 2021 Minister O’Brien proposed establishing a focussed, time-bound working group between Department officials, MICA action group representatives from Mayo and Donegal and Local Authority representatives, chaired by the Secretary General of the Department. The working group would identify and address outstanding issues with the operation of the scheme. The group would report back to the Minister by the end of July with potential actions which he would then bring to Government.
In July, and following a request from the homeowner representatives, Minister O’Brien extended the deadline for the group to submit their report to him to the end of September.