MICA CAMPAIGNS 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 as politicians in the North West fear for their seats following the fallout from the bad block scandal.
It comes amid anger from concerned homeowners that the proposed repair program has failed to meet expectations, due to a cap per square foot set to be reviewed in February.
Activist Paddy Diver said it was time ‘the people of Donegal started looking after Donegal’.
Speaking to the PA news agency, he said: “We’re not leaving, there’s a lot going on in the background. We’re in serious talks to field candidates.
“The advisers there right now are far too quiet.
I look around my house and start digging 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 entered the council, I would not be sitting in a corner. I would make noise and expose people there. The rest of the councilors around Donegal, they need to up their game.
“There aren’t enough people doing their job there.”
Diver said the party would not just focus on Mica, but would address long-standing issues in Donegal, known locally as the ‘forgotten county’ due to a perceived lack of funding and services over the years. year.
“Now is the time for the people of Donegal to start caring about Donegal. The way the Healy-Raes deal with Kerry is what we want,” he said.
If the TDs in this county looked after the people of Donegal we wouldn’t be in the state we are in today. It’s been going on for 10 years. You’re telling me a TD shouldn’t have stopped this from happening?
“The warning signs were there 10 years ago, even five years ago.
“I would love to go out there and make some changes, to be honest. Because I would be ruffling some feathers. I wouldn’t be sitting in the corner, I’ll tell you.
Diver said he has yet to decide if he will run himself, but hasn’t ruled it out.
“One day, I think I will definitely run. Another day, I think, might I even make some change? Would that piss me off too much? he said.
“But, at the end of the day, if there’s a little mosquito in a room full of people, it would be a very boring room.
“We don’t know who is showing up yet, but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.”
“We are still in talks, we are considering a new party at the minute. But we are still in talks on the best way forward,” he added.
Diver said he was heartbroken for the children of Donegal, many of whom live in derelict homes at Christmas.
“Kids now, they’ve lost their childhood,” he said.
Some of them struggle, some of them cry, and their mental health suffers.
“I learned myself, speaking with teachers, that the children’s grades have suffered a lot this year.
“Donegal is becoming a sad place to live, to be honest. This has repercussions on children, on parents and on pensioners.
“I had a pensioner on the phone the other day and she was crying, inconsolable. Christmas is here and she is heartbroken.
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Campaigners have criticized the government’s revised redress scheme, which they say will leave landlords facing bills of up to €65,000.
The scheme has been criticized for a cap of €145 per square foot, only available for the first 1,000 square feet, with a sliding scale in place thereafter.
Costs to Donegal County Council average €150 per square foot.
The cap is expected to be reviewed by the Society of Chartered Surveyor Ireland (SCSI) in February.
Diver called on Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to accept SCSI’s decision when it is made, saying it would be “totally unfair” for him to make changes to the recommendation.
“If he can do it in February, that means he can pull a number out of nowhere,” he said.