Well intentioned efforts are mostly to be applauded but the lack of any meaningful or visible progress whatsoever dictates that a different approach has to be considered.
Continuing to travel the same old stale road, repeating the mistakes of the past and hoping, somehow, for a successful outcome is a forlorn and meaningless strategy.
Operating on a continuous reactive basis playing catchup with the opposition means you are always behind the curve and at the mercy of the other side.
It is time to become proactive with some critical thinking that will challenge the existing Govt narrative and put them on the back foot.
It is time to put an end to the continuous fiddling with side issues that will not fundamentally challenge or change the govt strategy.
It is time to grasp the One thing that will potentially put the affected homeowners in the driving seat and give them a guaranteed 100% Redress And No Less with a definite fighting chance of success.
It is time to instigate a Judicial Review challenging the legality of I.S. 465 ( 2018 ) and have it replaced by existing EU regulations which will insist every homeowner's affected concrete blocks and foundations will be scientifically tested for Reactive Iron Sulphide Minerals i.e. Pyrrhotite, the real cause of your blocks crumbling.
If your blocks/foundations are found to contain 0.1% or more of Pyrrhotite ( which is the maximum allowed under EU regulations ) then from an engineering perspective you are entitled to full demolition and foundations replaced on the basis that deterioration of your building from Sulphate Attack is Progressive and unstoppable.
This Judicial Review strategy was used successfully by an Inishowen Environmental Group CFCE ( Community For A Clean Estuary ) when they took JR proceedings against the Govt and Donegal Co Cl for the use of defective legislation in relation to a major project on Lough Foyle and won their case. There is every reason to consider this route as a possible strategy.
Why MAG and co have refused to even discuss this possibility is simply beyond understanding.
Over this past ten years there has been no attempt to take real ownership of this campaign from the affected homeowners point of view.
A case in point is the unbelievable situation where a discredited IS 465 (Mica only in Donegal) is still being used to inform remediation decisions even though the dogs in the street know that MICA has nothing to do with the problem.
And then, even more unbelievably, is the fact that we agree to allow the NSAI, who designed and created this fraudulent protocol, to take charge of its ' review ' of IS 465 when instead there should be a public inquiry into its creation in the first place.
Do not forget that a doctor of civil engineering who is also I.S. 465 qualified has, on more than one occasion, stated that this fraudulent protocol 'Is Not For For Purpose'.
Affected homeowners should grasp the nettle and take charge of their own destiny or spend another ten years following false prophets down meaningless rabbit holes going nowhere.
The political road has become a massive failure as was predicted and is now dead in the water.
There is not one example in the history of the Irish state where the Govt of the day has ever taken responsibility for a scandal it created and then done the right thing by the people.
It is self-evident that the Defective Concrete Blocks scandal will simply become another statistic in that category.
The disastrous 90/10 scheme led to the so called 'enhanced' scheme which has now become the "Plausible Impossible" scheme that the vast majority of applicants wont be able to use.
As an example if you are granted Option 1 (Demolition) it has become clear that you will need to make up a substantial financial shortfall which only the well - heeled will be able to afford.
If you are offered any of the remaining options 2 to 5 you will need a chartered engineer to sign off on the completed works and we now know that will not happen.
See the following comment from Dr Ambrose Mc Closkey in relation to that issue:
A remediated house will not be ‘signed off’ by any reputable engineer whilst defective blocks remain within its structure.
From this it is plain to see that the Govt has tightened the requirements of the 'enhanced' scheme to make it completely unworkable.
Game, set and match to the Govt and DCC.
Which part of all of this does MAG and the Redress Focus Groups not see?
Do they think it is right and proper to expect the Engineers to forego their professional and ethical responsibilities and sign off on sub-standard remediation works just to save the Govt/NSAI/DCC for inventing a fraudulent protocol. This will only help a small handful of well heeled affected homeowners make their properties saleable, mortgageable and insurable after demolition and rebuild while leaving the vast majority at the starting line unable to afford the shortfall to enable them to so the same.
Does MAG and Redress Focus Groups think for one moment that the NSAI and DCC will step up to the plate and admit they got I.S. 465 wrong and then explain how they all connived to design and invent a fraudulent protocol I.S. 465? Also what is their present position on the fifteen hundred plus illegal remediation decisions already taken on the strength of it?
Its past time to review the campaign strategy and do whats necessary to have a proper fighting chance.
Look not to grandstanding politicians or false prophets to solve this state sponsored scandal.
They have been found wanting and its time they acknowledged this fact.
The support and experience of those who have previously and successfully challenged the State and won is available.
Time to take ownership of this scandal.
⏩ Enda Craig is a Donegal resident and community activist.