Let me speak directly to all those impacted by Mica and Pyrite and be clear on my support for your work and the immediate need for 100% redress.

The fact-finding mission to Ireland from 30 October to 1 November 2023 on the crisis was an incredibly important step in furthering the cause at a European-level. My team and I constructively worked and gained support amongst our EPP representatives within the Petitions Committee to ensure this mission was approved and had our Group’s support. 

I received the draft text of the report detailing our mission in January, which I felt was a fair and justified overview of what we experienced as an official mission from the Parliament and gave a very clear picture of the experiences the homeowners and families devastated by the mica and pyrite crisis have been faced with.

The recommendations at the end of the report are incredibly important and I felt that I could support the report as it was originally written, to ensure that the Parliament is taking the most definitive stance possible on the crisis. On redress, the report contains the following recommendations:

2. It needs to be ensured that this situation will never occur again, not only in Ireland but also in any EU Member State. It is the responsibility of the public authorities to safeguard people’s safety and health, by exploiting all the available tools under the current legal and policy framework at national and EU level, according to the principle of subsidiarity. National and local authorities should take all the necessary measures to provide effective and fit-for-purpose assistance to affected homeowners, as well as comprehensive solutions that meet their wide-ranging needs. The European Commission should assist the Irish government and the regions, where the affected buildings are located.

5. The Enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme is a very ambitious and comprehensive plan. It is imperative that the Scheme be improved, in order to address the concerns expressed by homeowners, widening its scope, reducing red tape, speeding up the progress of the process and involving financial institutions. The Scheme should show more flexibility and take better account of the financial burden of all the costs, such as the cost for new foundations, provisional accommodation and rental costs. Homeowners should not be obliged to advance some of the costs, which represents a challenge for many of them, especially for the most vulnerable. Moreover, adequate and accessible information and guidance should be provided to all applicants at a regular basis, both in person and by all other appropriate means, in order to ensure a timely treatment of the applications for all.

The Parliament must take the stance that the Scheme needs to be reworked and be adequate to support 100% redress for those affected. In the above paragraphs, it highlights that the current scheme is not fit-for-purpose and that it must be reworked to include the costs of new foundations, provisional accommodation and rental costs. The current Scheme is not enough. 

I completely agree with the six recommendations outlined in this draft report.  We need to move forward with both the support of the European Parliament and input from the Commission if we are to achieve 100% redress for the families and homeowners affected.

Ahead of the final vote on the report in the Petitions Committee on the 19th of March, twelve amendments have been tabled to the draft report, the EPP has tabled four, and the LEFT has tabled eight.

I believe the original text is comprehensive and that the recommendations are strongly in favour of those affected and therefore I did not table any amendments to this report. A German MEP in the EPP has submitted these amendments without my knowledge or without consulting me or my office beforehand. 

I do not have a vote in the Petitions Committee, so I will not vote on any of the amendments tabled myself. However, I do not support the wording proposed that the crisis has a ‘force majeure nature’.

I will contact the EPP Members with voting rights in the Petitions Committee and lobby them to reject this amendment ahead of the vote.

It’s important to stress that NO Irish MEPs sit on this Committee. The list of MEP’s are https://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/peti/home/members

Through the adoption of this report, the Parliament will adopt an official position on the mica and pyrite crisis in Ireland. We then have the foundation to call for action from the EU-level. 

Once the report is adopted I will send it to Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, as well as Taoiseach Leo Varadker to ensure that they are aware of the official position of Parliament and ask how they intend to enact the recommendations within the report and what the next steps must be. 

This is an incredibly important issue in our constituency and I have been working on this issue to ensure that I am representing you as your MEP.