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Carey in urgent meeting with Varadkar on pyrite

AN URGENT meeting between the Tånaiste and Deputy Joe Carey is expected to take place, to discuss supports for homeowners affected by pyrite and mica. 

The Clarecastle-based TD is one of three Fine Gael deputies to seek the meeting, after a briefing on Tuesday night from members of a Working Group set up to review the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme. 

The group, who are seeking an increase in the grant from 90 to 100% of remediation costs, voiced alarm at comments from the Fine Gael leader this week on controlling the impact on public finances. Following the online briefing, Deputies Carey, Alan Dillon (Mayo) and Joe McHugh (Donegal) contacted Leo Varadkar to ask for a meeting.

“In Clare, we are still trying to get access to the scheme,” Deputy Carey said. “I would expect that we will, but the scheme must be fit for purpose and provide the necessary finance. At the moment, the scheme doesn’t do that. As legislators, we must do everything possible to get this scheme right. I think that as TDs in west coast counties, Deputies Dillon and McHugh and I feel very strongly about this. We had a very good and very informative briefing on Tuesday night. After it, I was talking to Deputies McHugh and Dill and I felt we had to speak to Leo Varadkar.”

Deputy Carey also told The Champion that the Fine Gael TDs have sought a meeting with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien. The Minister is currently considering a report from Clare County Council which outlines the potential extent of the pyrite problem in the county and asks for access to the grant scheme, as well as an increase to 100% redress. 

“All of the evidence is there now for Clare,” Deputy Carey said. “I think this is only the tip of the iceberg”. 

Separately, the Chairperson of the Donegal Mica Action Group has said October 8 has been identified as the date for another possible protest, following a huge demonstration in Dublin in June. 

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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