June 24, 2022

Mica activists in talks to form a new political party

Mica activists are in talks to form a new political party to contest the upcoming local elections in Donegal.

The move would send a wake-up call to the government, with politicians in the Northwest fearing for their seats in the fallout from the bad blocks scandal.

The move comes amid the anger of affected homeowners that the proposed recourse regime has fallen short of expectations, due to a per square foot cap that is expected to be revised in February. Activist Paddy Diver #Elesad says it is time for ‘the people of Donegal to start caring for Donegal’.

Campaigner Paddy Diver said it was time for ‘the people of Donegal to start caring for Donegal’. Photography: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

“We’re not leaving, there’s a lot going on in the background. We are seriously in talks on the candidacy of candidates ”, he declared.

“The advisers there right now are way too calm.

“I look around my home and start to dig into other things that aren’t working for us. There is nothing for young people to do in our city. Not even a basketball court, not a tennis court, there is nothing.

“If I walked into the council, I wouldn’t be sitting in a corner. I would make some noise. The rest of the advisers around Donegal, they need to improve their game. ‘

Mica activists
Mr Diver said the party would not just focus on mica, but would tackle long-standing issues in Donegal, known locally as ‘forgotten county’ Photograph: © Fran Veale

Mr Diver said the party would not just focus on mica, but would tackle long-standing issues in Donegal, known locally as the ‘forgotten county’ due to a perceived lack of funding and services over the years.

“Now is the time for the people of Donegal to start caring for Donegal. The way the Healy-Raes look after Kerry is what we want, ”he said.

“If TDs in this county were looking after the people of Donegal, we wouldn’t be in the state we are in today. For 10 years, it has been going on. Are you telling me that a TD shouldn’t have stopped this from happening? “

Mr Diver said he had not yet decided whether he would run for himself, but did not rule him out. “Someday I think I would definitely be running. Another day, I think, might I even make a change? Pic Gareth Chaney / Collins Photos

Mr Diver said he had not yet decided whether he would run for himself, but did not rule him out. “Someday I think I would definitely be running. Another day, I think, might I even make a change? Would that bother me too much? he said.

“But, at the end of the day, if there is a little mosquito in a room full of people, it would be a very boring room.

“We don’t know who’s showing up yet, but I certainly wouldn’t rule them out.”

Mr Diver said he was heartbroken for the children of Donegal, many of whom live in crumbling houses over Christmas.

“The children now, they have lost their childhood,” he said.

Mica repair manifestation
Campaigners criticized the government’s revised mica repair program, which they say will leave homeowners with bills of up to € 65,000. Pic Gareth Chaney / Collins Photos

“Some of them are struggling, others are crying and their sanity is suffering.
“I know myself from talking to teachers, children’s grades are suffering a lot this year. Donegal is becoming a sad place to live.

“I had a retiree on the phone the other day and she was crying inconsolably. Christmas is here and she is heartbroken.

Campaigners criticized the government’s revised mica repair program, which they say will leave homeowners with bills of up to € 65,000.

The program has been criticized for a cap of € 145 per square foot, available only for the first 1,000 square feet, with a sliding scale thereafter.

Costs at Donegal County Council average € 150 per square foot. The cap is expected to be reviewed by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) in February.
Mr Diver called on Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to accept SCSI’s decision when it is made, saying it would be “grossly unfair” of him to make any changes to the recommendation.