A protest march is underway in Dublin city this afternoon, to highlight the plight of rural and urban homeowners impacted by mica and pyrite-affected concrete blocks.
Protestors from Donegal – where the majority of homes are affected – and Mayo have gathered at the Convention Centre, where the Dáil is currently sitting.
Placards with: ‘Our Donegal homes are crumbling‘ and ‘100% redress, nothing less‘ clearly highlight the point of this march – protestors are seeking full redress for repair and rebuild of their homes. Thousands are expected to turn out in support.
A €20m redress scheme that has been introduced to help homeowners has been described by critics as not fit for purpose.
Under the current terms of the scheme, which encompasses domestic homes only, the government will cover 90% of the costs incurred, while the homeowner must cover 10%, in addition to engineer fees.
But those impacted by the defective blocks that are destroying their homes are seeking 100% redress.
Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) spokesperson and farmer, Henry O’Donnell, whose family home is due to be demolished because mica, told Agriland that the entire community in Donegal is behind this mica march.
“Right now, homeowners are the priority,” he said.
Donegal pig farmer, Jimmy Mooney – whose piggery has also suffered due to the defective blocks – and his family, are going to be attending today also, he told Agriland.
“The number-one priority is people’s homes,” Jimmy said.
“I’ve never seen Donegal as united before. So many people are impacted, either directly, or they know somebody who has been affected,” he added.
Meanwhile, as the protest gets underway, Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn tweeted that he had learned that the “government will not oppose a Sinn Féin Dáil motion calling for 100% redress”.
“This is a victory for our campaigning families in Donegal and Mayo,” he said.