New political party established by mica campaigners gains approval to fight elections

100% Redress Party is expected to field candidates in 2024 local elections

A new political party focused on redress and established by mica campaigners has been approved to fight local and Dáil elections, it has been confirmed.

The Electoral Commission today gave notice that the 100% Redress Party’s application is to be approved and will become effective after a 21-day appeal period elapses, beginning on Friday.

The party is expected to field candidates in next year’s local elections, according to an activist who spoke with The Irish Times last month when news of the official application to launch a party first emerged.

While the initial focus will be on mica, the party has a broad view of what might be entailed by ‘redress’ and how the concept might be applied to a range of political issues.


Successive governments have been grappling with the issue of defective blocks caused by the presence of the mineral mica for a decade, with the current Coalition agreeing to enhance an existing scheme to cover 100 per cent of repair costs up to a ceiling of €420,000 agreed last November. The price of the scheme is €2.7 billion, but could rise higher again to as much as €3.65 billion if inflation runs consistently high.

Speaking to The Irish Times last month, Ali Farren, a party member, said: “We believe in this moment in time we’ll fight county council elections, purely to see what the support will be.

“We’re a work in progress but by next May or June when we hope to be fighting the elections, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with. We’re hoping to take votes from everybody and speak for defective block owners full stop.”

He said the party would not necessarily be a single issue one: “The word redress has been used a lot but it means so much, we have so much to redress - it could be our fishing communities, our harbours and coastlines, our inner cities, our roads. We want to redress lots of things, but ultimately our first focus will be defective concrete blocks and our homes,” he said.

Frustration and anger

Asked about the establishment of the new party at the Sinn Féin think-in in Dublin today, that party’s leader Mary Lou McDonald said it “reflects the huge frustration and anger amongst those families and those communities”, saying the rallies and rallying calls from within communities naturally meant the next election would be seen as an opportunity to advance their case.

“Actually, I applaud them for that. I think they also know that in Sinn Féin they have had the strongest of allies and the strongest of advocates.”

If the party were to run candidates in the general election, sources on the ground in Donegal believe it could put pressure on Sinn Féin’s TD Padraig MacLochlainn, given his heartland is in the Inishowen penninsula where the mica issue is most prevalent, and that an effective campaign could mop up swathes of the anti-government vote. However, Sinn Féin is exceptionally strong in Donegal and would be expected to add to its tally of two TDs in the five seat constituency.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times