Mica protesters gather in Dublin as new committee to examine issue set up

Cabinet told group will report by July 31st with findings then given to Government

Sharon Doneghy (left) with her daughter Chloe from Buncrana, Co Donegal who are part of a protest in Dublin today by homeowners who properties have been damaged by mica or  pyrite. Photograph: Photograph:

Sharon Doneghy (left) with her daughter Chloe from Buncrana, Co Donegal who are part of a protest in Dublin today by homeowners who properties have been damaged by mica or pyrite. Photograph: Photograph:

 

A new committee is to be set up to examine the problems faced by homeowners affected by the Mica controversy and provide recommendations to Government on how to address the situation.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien told Cabinet on Tuesday that he wants the group would report by July 31st with potential actions which would then be brought to Government.

Mr O’Brien said due to discuss these plans with the Mica action group later today before a final decision is made.

Mr O’Brien said the committee will include department officials, MICA action group representatives from Mayo and Donegal, and local authority representatives.

The new working group will seek to identify and address outstanding issues with the operation of the compensation scheme which currently offers owners of affected properties up to 90 per cent of the rebuilding or remediation costs

The Government is under acute political pressure from the families and the Opposition to increase this to 100 per cent, which would bring the overall cost to the State to more than €1 billion.

Campaigners say a current grant scheme, operated by local authorities, forces homeowners to finance 10 per cent of the cost of repairs as well as other fit-out costs and is out of most people’s reach.

Hundreds of people whose homes were built with blocks containing the substance mica are protesting in Dublin city centre before marching on Leinster House.

The Government estimates up to 6,000 homes are impacted, mainly in Co Donegal, but also in counties Mayo, Sligo and Clare.

Campaigners said many more buildings are affected and includes hospitals, schools and social housing.

Masonry manufacturers named as having provided the materials to homeowners throughout the various regions have stated their products adhered to Government standards and regulations.

More to follow