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21/10/2021

Taoiseach called on to set up Government task force to deal with fall-out from mica crisis

Donegal County Council wants task force to deal with the health, housing and welfare issues arising from mica

18.4% mica in house bought by Donegal County Council

Cllr Albert Doherty has called for intervention involving Government departments, local authorities and the Health Service Executive

Donegal County Council has called on the Taoiseach to establish a task force to deal with the fall-out from the mica crisis.
The council has passed a motion calling for the establishment of a dedicated Government task force to deal with the health, housing and welfare issues arising from mica.
Sinn Féin councillor Albert Doherty has called for the task force “to initiate, coordinate, fund and promote a housing, health and family welfare response to tackle the many societal ills resulting from mica pyrite and pyrrhotite”.
He said the issue is prevalent in the north-west region in many family homes and is adversely affecting educational and community facilities as well as farming buildings.
Addressing Donegal County Council on his motion, Cllr Doherty said an early intervention response is required involving many Government departments, local authorities, the Health Service Executive, housing bodies, homeless charities and education boards.
The intervention is needed to “prevent homelessness and ensure the provision of family emergency accommodation and provide much required mental health supports,” he said.
He said the supports required to deal with the crisis can only be delivered “cross-sectorally” by the Government.

Impact on school children


Senior management in the Donegal Education Training Board is reporting the detrimental impact of mica on school pupils due to them seeing the “heart-breaking presence of mica in the structures of their house,” he said.
Students as a result are not fulfilling their full potential.
He said the same response is required from the Government as when Fruit of the Loom closed factories in the county leaving hundreds unemployed.
The motion was seconded by Cllr Terry Crossan (SF) who said a task force is needed to tackle the situation.
Council officials have undertaken to write to the Taoiseach calling for a task force to be established.

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