Pictured: Stardust fire 14 February 1981
14 July 2017 – BRegs Weekly Edition 114
Edition 114 of BRegs Weekly is out now.
In the Sunday Business Post (see here), Hugh O’Connell reported that Finian McGrath TD has helped break a major impasse in exploring new evidence from the 1981 Stardust disaster where 48 people died. Judge Pat McCartan had threatened to quit the process after victims’ families refused to handover a large cache of new evidence- given their decades-long fight for justice, they are deeply suspicious and sceptical of the state’s institutions. Last week McGrath warned the families that without agreeing to handover the file, McCartan would quit- then there would then be little or no hope of a new statutory inquiry into the fire. After several hours of talks, it was agreed that the families would handover the new evidence to be assessed by McCartan who will determine not only if there is grounds for a new state investigation, but also how much in legal fees and other associated costs are owed. The families will settle for nothing less than a full inquiry to determine, once and for all, what caused the horrendous nightclub fire nearly four decades ago. “This is a major step forward in the process. It’s up to the judge to make the decision now, independent of politicians and the families,” McGrath said.
In “Minister to visit Donegal to meet MICA action group” the Donegal Daily discussed a recent report published by Minister Damien English into the wide-ranging affects of Mica on concrete blocks in many homes right across County Donegal which affects up to 4,800 homes in Donegal built between 2000 and 2006. The report was critical of quality controls and building control regulations which were in place at that time but stopped short of recommending any aid to families. Minister English that he is travelling to the Donegal next week to meet the Mica action group. Government Chief Whip Joe McHugh has welcomed the visit and says he is lobbying for a redress scheme for homeowners, who said “Minister English will visit Donegal next Wednesday to meet the Mica action group which represents many of the private homeowners affected by this issue”. At present there is no Government commitment to establish a redress scheme to help owners affected.
In “Ongoing problems in our housing sector were prominent this week” the Irish Times reported on a Maynooth university study, Investing in the Right to a Home: Housing, HAPs and Hubs, written by Dr Rory Hearne and Dr Mary Murphy of the university’s sociology and social sciences institute. The study warned that the housing crisis has not yet peaked and is likely to escalate over the next five years. It was conducted as part of a Europe-wide examination of how to strengthen social investment. The study says the newly established “family hubs” could become the next “direct provision” for distressed families and says the “major reliance” of successive governments on the private sector to provide social housing has contributed to the problems now facing the State. “Absence of [State] investment in social housing negates the housing rights of the most vulnerable,” it says. “We are not at the peak of the housing crisis and we expect [it] to escalate over the next five years.”
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Click Here to read: BRegs Weekly : Edition 114