Homeowners demand full compensation in Ireland dilapidated homes scandal | Ireland
homeowners in Ireland He had a devastating defect in the building causing “walls to collapse like Weetabix,” and is set to reject the government’s compensation plan unless it offers to cover 100% of its costs.
Activists say the prospect of dream homes being demolished is causing people to kill themselves and disintegrate their families, and thousands of people could be made homeless in rural Ireland.
They plan to protest in Dublin on Friday to put pressure on the government, which could end up paying an estimated €3.2bn (£2.7bn) bill, according to Report in the Irish Times.
Paddy Diver, co-founder of the campaign group 100% Equity and owner of a defective home in one of the worst affected areas in County Donegal, said.
Formed homes are built using building blocks that lose their strength and collapse due to an excessive amount of the mineral mica, believed to be from local quarries.
The exact number of homes built using the blocks is unknown, but activists estimate there are at least 20,000 homes and blame the government for not enforcing building regulations.
When an engineer was hired to test the mica, Joseph McLaughlin, whose Carndona house in Donegal is suffering from cracks, said that it “drilled through the wall as if it were a pound of butter.” McLaughlin said the blocks were “just like Weetabix.”
Michael Doherty, leader Mica working groupHe was dismayed by reports that the government is preparing to sign a compensation scheme that will limit funds to 350,000 euros per home and set other conditions that put the scheme beyond the reach of many affected.
Angeline Rudy, a teacher in County Donegal, is one of three sisters who live in homes built from damaged blocks, which now have to be demolished. She said people were “on their knees” with psychological and financial stress.
The alleged mecha disaster has echoes of the controversy that erupted after Grenfell Tower fire, UK, where developers, local councils, freemen and the government argue over who is to blame while thousands of people remain in potential fire traps for dangerous cladding.
It also highlights the long shadow it casts Celtic tiger boom and collapseWhich left a legacy of thousands of ghost estates and poorly built homes across Ireland.
The most affected counties are Donegal and Mayo, but Tanist Leo Varadkar recently said the Department of Housing has also received requests from local authorities in Clare, Limerick, Sligo and Tipperary to get involved in the scheme to award faulty concrete blocks.
In a position paper submitted to the Government’s Defective Blocks Working Group, representatives of the Donegal family demanded 100% compensation in line with homeowners in Dublin and the east of the country who had suffered a similar defect caused by pyrite in their building blocks.
Their skepticism about the government’s proposed plan, which is expected to be announced in the next three weeks, is fueled by the difficulties of a previous initiative that offered to pay 90% of homeowners’ costs.
Rudy described this scheme as an “absolute white elephant”, who spent nearly €7,000 on engineers and other professional services to prove its eligibility.
She said the program was also fit for purpose as it required complex applications to be delivered online in a country where 20% of the population does not own home broadband.
Pharmacist Willem Henry, who lives half an hour from Rudy, described the current scheme as “extremely cynical.”
He figured that by the time he paid the engineers’ fees, lab checks, and demolition costs, the €275,000 cap in compensation for his €400,000 home had been reduced to less than €200,000.
Doherty described the situation as a humanitarian crisis.
“We are intent on making our views on this very clear on October 8. We will be marching in Dublin again, and we will expect the affected counties to stand up and be counted,” he said, adding that MPs who did not support the 100% equity plan would be punished by their constituents.
Ahead of Friday’s protest rally, Thomas Pringle, an independent MP for Donegal, accused the government of “disingenuous nonsense” about the scandal, and said it had not “demonstrated the slightest interest” in real solutions.
The Department of Housing said Housing Minister Dara O’Brien has acknowledged that the current scheme is not working as originally intended. But he assured homeowners at a meeting that he understood their “stress and suffering” and promised to strengthen the current compensation system.