Faulty blocks may affect up to 2,000 homes

More than 2,000 homes across Co Donegal could be affected by defective building blocks, a meeting of angry homeowners has heard.

More than 350 people attended the meeting of the MICA Action Group, which heard it would only be a matter of time before a house collapses.

The group was formed to take action against defective blocks which are causing homes across Donegal to crumble just years after they were built.

The meeting heard that an estimated 2,000 homes may be affected by the blocks, which were manufactured between 1985 and 2010.

The meeting heard a promise from a junior minister, Joe McHugh, that he would take the issue to Environment Minister Alan Kelly with a view to a meeting.

A spokesman said: “It was a very positive meeting which was attended by all our TDs and a lot of county councillors.

“But we were very disappointed that nobody from Donegal County Council was there as they were invited to attend.

“But the upshot of the meeting is that we are hopeful of now meeting Minister Alan Kelly to take our situation to him.”

He said a survey of members of the MICA group found that one supplier, referred to as Supplier A, was responsible for providing the defective blocks to 97% of damaged homes.

The spokesman added that it was only a matter of time before there was serious structural damage to a house which could result in somebody being injured.

“We have evidence that the structural damage is so bad that it is only a matter of time before a bison [concrete] slab is affected, resulting in a house coming tumbling down. That is the reality as blocks get weaker and weaker and more and more cracks appear. Our survey has shown that it takes 5.6 years for signs of the defective blocks to appear in houses so many houses may not even be showing the signs of cracks yet.”

The group said it would continue to seek members from people who were sold the defective blocks. “We believe that up to 2,000 houses could be affected. If people see cracks they should contact the group.”

Among those present was Damian McCauley from Letterkenny who has been forced to spend €30,000 taking down the outer “leaf” of his house due to defective blocks.


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