Government aims to produce Mica solution by the end of July

Following a protest of more than 10,000 people outside the Dáil and the Convention Centre, a time-bound working group has been established to produce a solution by the end of next month
Government aims to produce Mica solution by the end of July

A protest by Mica-affected homeowners from Mayo and Donegal who are seeking 100% redress for the faulty concrete in their homes. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The Government has stopped short of committing to covering the full cost of fixing and rebuilding thousands of homes affected by Mica.

Following a protest of more than 10,000 people outside the Dáil and the Convention Centre, a timebound working group has been established to produce a solution by the end of July, it was revealed.

Deciding not to oppose a Sinn Féin motion calling for the level redress for those affected to be increased from 90% to 100%, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien told the Dáil that the Government is committed to finding a solution.

The motion was backed from across the political spectrum and it is understood that the Government decided not to oppose the motion following representations from Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue, a Donegal TD.

Mr O’Brien said that following a discussion with the Mica Action Group, it has been agreed to set up a time-bound working group. 

“We will work through the specific issues that have been highlighted with the deadline of July 31,” he said.

“We all know that there is a very significant cost to the exchequer. And that is just a fact. I believe changes are needed to the scheme will have the effect of increasing that cost, and we do need to try to quantify that."

Mayo Fianna Fáil TD and former Minister Dara Calleary urged the Government to move to 100% redress, calling on the minister to stand with the people affected. 

Mr McConalogue has also broken ranks with his Cabinet colleagues in also calling for 100% redress cover to be provided.

Mr Calleary said the demand for 100% “has to be delivered”.

He said the original scheme when set up in 2019 was a good scheme but the lack of involvement of local authorities and homeowners undermined it.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald repeatedly called on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to state whether the Government would foot the entire bill to repair houses in Donegal, Mayo, and Clare that have been built with defective blocks, containing Mica or Pyrite.

"This scandal is a result of the light-touch regulation and the reckless practices of the Celtic Tiger years," she said.

"This is not the fault of the families concerned. It is the fault of those who were supposed to have their backs, who were supposed to be looking out for them. 

"These families have been failed by the system, and have been failed by the State."

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