Impact of mica scandal

 

Sir, – Are people in Donegal, Mayo and others not allowed to build the home of their choice? There are plenty of “palatial houses” built in other counties too. See the Property supplement in The Irish Times every Thursday.

My son was married in 1999. He and his wife lived in a prefabricated house for seven years while saving to build a permanent home. They built a house to the highest standard at the time. Extra insulation, geothermal heating, fitted out with the best they could buy. A lovely home. They lived there happily with their daughter, until mica reared its ugly head.

At first they hoped it would be possible to carry out repairs. Following tests, which had to be paid for in advance, they got the shattering news that it was to be total demolition.

They now have the terrible experience of seeing their home reduced to rubble. All the contents, fittings etc have to be removed and stored. Plans have to be prepared for a replacement house. Through no fault of their own. They are left in this situation, no amount of compensation will pay for the situation they find themselves in.

In the meantime they are fortunate to have their pre-fab to move into. In time they will rebuild and put this traumatic time behind them. – Yours, etc,

CELIA GEOGHEGAN,

Newtowncunningham,

Co Donegal.

Sir, – I note that the proposed mica redress cap moved from €247,500 in January 2020 to €350,000 a month ago, to €400,000 a week ago and to €420,000 last week.

Now further pressure is being applied to increase the square foot costs and the sliding scale. It seems that investment properties are also included in the scheme.

I have every sympathy for people whose lives have been blighted by this mica scandal.

However there is a limit to the amount that the taxpayer should pay out on a strictly ex gratia basis. The redress scheme for Donegal/Mayo is estimated to cost €2.2 billion.

I note that the Disclosures tribunal on Garda misconduct has now cost the State more than €14 million, almost five times the original budget set aside for it. Is this where we are headed with these redress schemes while many young people cannot even afford to get into the housing market?

Has even one single TD in the Dáil spoken out on behalf of the vast majority of taxpayers and those less fortunate in society on this matter?

Pearse Doherty TD for Sinn Fein states that “these [mica] campaigners won the hearts and minds of the Irish nation”.

They certainly seem to have won over all the politicians.

– Yours, etc,

JACK FLYNN,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.