Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has called for a dedicated redress scheme to be urgently set up for those affected by MICA. Deputy McConalogue made the comments following the long awaited publication of an expert panel report into the issue.

The report recognised the fact that up to 5,000 homes across Donegal could be affected by MICA.

“I welcome the publication of this long awaited report. It clearly identifies the presence of MICA muscovite in building blocks as the key structural issue affecting these homes, which is what the homeowners have been arguing for years.  The report’s publication and findings marks an important step in addressing this issue for the countless families affected”, explained Deputy McConalogue.

“The publication of this report was delayed several times – its original publication date was May 2016 and we are only now in receipt of this report, over one year later.  We must ensure that the same laissez faire attitude to redress is not adopted – a scheme must be set up as a matter of urgency.

“I believe the appropriate solution would be to set up a bespoke redress scheme under the remit of the Pyrite Resolution Board, which currently operates the Pyrite Remediation scheme.  This would ensure that further delays could be avoided as the structures and experience of the Pyrite Resolution Board could be used.

“Given the nature of MICA, which sees the continued deterioration of the affected blocks, a common sense approach is needed and we need a redress scheme that ensures all affected homes are included and that any home showing early signs of being affected are immediately included for remediation and redress.   For homes that are more acutely affected, it is crucial that solutions are agreed which deal fully with the problem in an appropriate way.

“Families simply cannot afford to deal with the implications of a problem that was not of their making and there is a need for a redress scheme that sees the cost burden of testing and repairing homes taken off their shoulders.  I believe that a bespoke redress scheme which includes all affected homes under the remit of the Pyrite Resolution Board is the best way to ensure that the stressful wait and delays which families have had to endure does not continue.

“It is crucial that the Government acts urgently on the back of this report and I will be pressing the Minister to ensure that this issue is addressed effectively and efficiently”, concluded Deputy McConalogue.