The Following letter was sent, today, May 12th to the Minister for Finance, Mr Michael Noonan…
Dear Minister Noonan,
My name is Amanda Gallagher, from County Sligo. Myself and my husband were due to commence the self build of our family home this Summer. We have five young children and we were going to hand the keys of our current council house back to the State for another family in need when our build was complete. Our story was featured on RTE Radio & TV Shows and also the Six One News on Friday, Feb. 28th last – we hoped our pleas for a deferral of the new Building Control laws (S.I. 9) to Minister Hogan would be listened to – how naïve of us!
This particular Statutory Instrument has to be the most unjust law ever to be forced upon the Citizens of this Country. It states that to build a home you must be a principal or director of a building company only. The Citizens of this country are no longer legally permitted to employ their own tradesmen – this is a terrible injustice for anyone intending to build a home for their family – and I cannot fathom how Fine Gael thinks that this law can include self builders, because it simply cannot include us – there is absolutely no provision made for self builders in these laws – it is outrageous – even the Landowners of old Ireland permitted a man to construct a home for his family.
I was absolutely appalled when I read this Irish Times article about the billionaire Mr Donald Trump and his planned construction of a Golf Course in beautiful Doonbeg. The article is in the link below:
While I, at all times encourage investment in Ireland, it really is most distressing as potential self builders to see our Government show favouritism to the Rich. This Multi-Billionaire from America, who intends to build here, lands in Shannon in his private jumbo jet, and is met by a Government Minister amid a media frenzy, while at the same time, the ordinary citizens of Ireland are suffering, depressed, cast aside, ignored, given misinformation and shown disrespect by the same Government – all because of building control laws – shocking! In fact, our Government are more concerned about a microscopic snail on the dunes of Doonbeg than they are about the people.
Minister, you need to study the implications of the BC(A)R 2014, as they are already affecting the economy of Ireland. In March 2013 there were 320 commencement notices lodged for one-off residential houses – in March 2014 there were only 70 lodged – this difference is monumental. The effect of this will be felt most by local tradesmen, builders merchants and window & door suppliers, etc.. and this will only get worse as the year progresses.
Mr Trump is willing to invest €45m into the economy – this is fantastic. But equally fantastic is the fact that 60% of one off houses in Ireland were self builds before the introduction of S.I. 9 – this is a fact. Self Builders are a viable contributor to the economy, everyone from Architects, Local Authorities, Site Assessors, Engineers, Groundswork Teams, Plant Operators, Quarries, Tradesmen, Builders Merchants, Interior Designers, Window & Door Suppliers & Manufacturers, Landscapers, Garden Centres, Tarmacadam Contractors, Kitchen Showrooms etc.. – all of these people benefit from self builders. These people will be in for a shock at their end of year audit.
While a single self builder will not invest anything near the Trump €45m – as a sector, altogether, their accumulative economic contribution would be immense. Under S.I. 9, the Government must understand and acknowledge, that the planned home of a self builder will simply never exist – a building contractor is the one person that a self builder has no need of – we do exactly the same thing – the majority of us will never want to or should be forced to hire a building contractor – who, lets face it could merely be a businessman – he may have been a butcher before he called himself a ‘builder’.
I would like you to meet with Minister Hogan at your earliest convenience and discuss this serious crisis that is going to cause irrevocable damage to the economic recovery of Ireland. There is a fair system of building control that would solve every issue within S.I.9 – it is the ‘Collins & O’Cofaigh – A Better Way’ system of Building Control – http://bregsforum.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/2423/
There is no reason in the world that this cannot be implemented – and if Minister Hogan gives you a reason why he cannot consider this solution, please let me know.
Mr Trump claims he can make his Golf Course world famous – this may indeed turn out to be true but Ireland has already become world famous for entirely different reasons – we are the first and only country in the world to ban self building – this is not something that Fine Gael should be proud of.
I would like your thoughts on the S.I.9 and the damage it is causing to the economy, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Regards to you at this most difficult time in Ireland,
Mrs Amanda Gallagher