Will the Government put its hands up, admit its culpability for non-regulation in the Mica scandal and give the victims their overdue and just demands?
Or will it go another road?
Will it simply present the 30th of Sept Working Group report (with a small minimal twist or two) and state that this is its final position ... take it or leave it?
Giving essentially what Dr Ambrose Mc Cluskey refers to in his recent devastating critique where he said:
In general the document is extremely poor and lacking in any clarity, but what it does confirm as agreed, in my opinion, is that the homeowners now have an even worse scheme than they did before.All of the concerns of the engineers, which were genuine concerns about the [Defective Concrete Blocks Grant] Scheme have just been circumvented by taking it out of their hands and going straight to the Housing Agency.
The fixes now in there will just be the very minimum, take it or leave it and that's it. They will not care about the longevity of what they propose as they have no professional indemnity worries. The flaws in IS 465 will not be addressed and the required research will not be done.
Should this be the Government's final position and it goes to a vote of the house the voting decision by all TD's ( both Govt and opposition ) will come under the microscope.
This is where it will get interesting.
To begin with the Government has to be certain that it does not lose the vote as such a scenario could cause it to fall and trigger a general election.
To that end we must look at the numbers of elected TD's of both Government and Opposition in the Oireachtas at the moment.
As it stands there are 84 Government TD's as against 75 opposition (the Ceann Comhairle has a casting vote in the event of a tie).
From these figures it can be seen that the Government can allow four TD's to cross the floor to join with the opposition (giving the impression that they fully support the victims) and still win the vote for the report and survive. But this is far too close for comfort.
To be 100% certain of survival and winning the vote they will arrange deals, as they did in the recent no confidence vote against Minister Simon Coveney, with a number of Independent TD's from unaffected Mica constituencies.
In truth, making these arrangements is the main reason for the delay in taking the report to the Dail.
When the political 'stroke' is complete the 'rogue ' TD's will lose the party whip for a short period of time before being reinstated.
They will be seen as having ' done their best and stood with the people ' and therein lies the cynical hoodwink.
'Cute Hoor' Irish politics at its cynical best.
The Donegal/Mayo victims get shafted again.
Just another day at the political office.
Are these the 'Votes For Hire'?
They are Independent TD's Who Voted With The Govt In The Recent Minister Simon Coveney No Confidence Motion.
⏩ Enda Craig is a Donegal resident.