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Darragh O’Brien says ‘nothing is off the table’ on mica redress scheme

Erik G

DARRAGH O’BRIEN has said that no decision has yet been made on how much a mica redress scheme could cover.

Speaking to reporters in Donabate in Co Dublin, the Housing Minister said: “I inherited the previous scheme that came in and we’re looking to improve that.”

He said that he would be meeting mica-affected homeowners again on Wednesday.

Echoing comments made by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar on Friday, he said: “Nothing is off the table.”

The Government has faced huge criticism in recent months over its redress scheme for homeowners whose properties were built using defective bricks containing excessive amounts of the mineral mica in Donegal, Mayo and other counties.

“We have to work on a plan that one, is going to be deliverable,” O’Brien said.

“Two, is better than the original scheme and I believe we’ve made real progress in in that space,” he said.

“I’ll be meeting with the homeowners again on Wednesday this week, and then I intend in the coming weeks to be able to bring a package to Government that I hope I’ll get approval for,” the Housing Minister added. 

“It will require significant increased investment from the Exchequer,” he said.

“I’ve also said before that I think those responsible and other sectors will need to have to pay towards it too.

“That’s something that I feel very very strongly about. So I’ve ruled, absolutely nothing, out.”

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Various Government figures have insisted that everything remains on the table for homeowners impacted by mica.

In a statement issued by Fine Gael on Friday, Varadkar said: “The existing scheme is clearly not adequate and there is a need for an enhanced scheme.

“This is overdue.”

Last week, the Taoiseach said that the Government is committed to “enhancing” the compensation scheme for families affected by mica.

Speaking to reporters in New York, Micheál Martin said that Government is aiming to have talks on a redress scheme finished by the end of the month, with a proposal brought to Cabinet in early October.

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