NEWS

Mica Action Group calls for a decision on redress

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Donegal Mica group to meet with Minister on Monday morning

The Mica Action Group (MAG) has called on the government for a decision on redress for those affected by the defective blocks issue in the county.

MAG last week wrote to Damien English, Minister for Housing and Urban Development asking for a decision to be made without any further delay on the issue of redress.

Ann Owens, Chair of the Mica Action Group said: "MAG and a number of affected homeowners and political representatives, met with Minister English in December 2017 in Carndonagh. Almost 400 people turned out on that wet and cold December evening, at very short notice, to illustrate to him the level of frustration felt at the slow rate of progress and the urgent need to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.

"At that meeting, we were heartened to be given definitive timelines for the next six months. We were told that the work by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) in developing a protocol, would be completed at the end of January 2018 and following a public consultation period of around six weeks, and some final revisions, it would be completed by April/May timeframe. On this basis, he made a promise to the delegation in attendance that evening (which we passed on to our members) that a decision on redress – and specifically who would fund it - would be made by the end of May 2018.

"We are sorry to find ourselves almost five months on and have been given very little information on any progress that has been made. We know that the NSAI have met a significant number of times and that they are doing their best to develop a protocol as part of recommendation 1. However, we now find ourselves almost in May 2018, and it would appear that the milestones, as promised, are way behind schedule. In the meantime, as you can appreciate, and following another very hard winter, the homes of those affected by the defective blocks issue continue to deteriorate at an exponential rate.

"We have therefore asked the Minister, that given the significant delays to this process, and the increasing concerns for the safety of our members in the interim, to: 1. Make a decision on the issue of redress without further delay.
2. Confirm that you will be making a submission to the exchequer for funds required to establish a redress scheme in this year’s end of year budget?

"MAG are also asking that all of our political representatives in the county, step up to the plate and keep the pressure on the government in relation to redress. We will accept nothing less and need to see some resolution to this issue urgently. Those homeowners affected by this deserve nothing less. We ask that some of the stress and the nightmare that homeowners are enduring is somewhat alleviated through some meaningful progress and ultimately the announcement of a redress scheme."