Donegal Minister Charlie McConalogue says that Housing minister Darragh O’Brien is making a real impact on the mica scheme.
Minister McConalogue stood to defend Minister O’Brien in the Dáil last night during a motion of no confidence prompted by People Before Profit-Solidarity.
Minister O’Brien survived the vote via a counter motion from the government.
“The key priority for me has been mica and the Minister has been working very hard to deliver on that,” Minister McConalogue told the Dáil.
“We are making a real impact. Legislation has been introduced and we will have all homes in Donegal fixed.”
Minister McConalogue said Sinn Féin was “trumped” by People Before Profit who moved the motion first. He also criticised the “supposed housing guru” of the left, Sinn Féin’s Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin, who he said has been suggesting action plans for housing that are already being taken by government. Minister McConalogue said Sinn Féin’s track record in the North “would not speak very well” and said the party has not offered another solution to the Mica scheme.
“If you look at Sinn Féin in that regard, the Minister asked it for advice in advance of that legislation but got none. Sinn Féin promised it would introduce its own legislation. It still has not published it six months after we introduced the legislation so, again, if we were looking to Sinn Féin in that regard, there would be very little delivery,” Minister McConalogue said.
Sinn Féin Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said Donegal has a “perfect storm” of a housing crisis.
“We have all of the elements of the housing crisis we have in the rest of the State, and then this defective blocks crisis,” Deputy Mac Lochlainn said.
He said that homeowners are not being listened to in their campaign for 100% redress, despite the large scale protests.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said that homeowners’ proposed amendments to the enhanced scheme “would have cost the Government and the State nothing and which made complete sense”.
“They had 80 amendments but the Minister ran the legislation through because he said it was urgent to have a scheme which people could work with. Here we are now, almost at Christmas, and we still do not have a scheme and it is still not in place.
He added: “It is not just a matter of the Minister himself. I have no confidence in Fine Gael and in Fianna Fáil to do what is right by our people when it comes to housing based on lived experience.”
A Dáil motion of confidence in the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien was won by 86 votes in favour, 63 against, with one abstention.