18 Aug 2022

Councillor makes 'unreserved apology' to Mica campaigner

Language used was 'vulgar and inappropriate'

Councillor makes 'unreserved apology' to Mica campaigner

Councillor makes 'unreserved apology' to Mica campaigner

A Donegal County Councillor has apologised “unreservedly” to mica campaigner, Michael Doherty, for sending him a WhatsApp message containing “vulgar and inappropriate” language.

In a statement to the media tonight, Cllr Frank McBrearty Jr (Independent) said: “I would like to take this opportunity to unreservedly apologise for an off the cuff remark I made to Mr Michael Doherty [Mica Action Group PRO] in a private WhatsApp message.

“I am sincerely sorry for any hurt I caused to Mr Doherty or his family and for my use of vulgar and inappropriate language.

“When I made these remarks, it was not intended to cause any hurt to Mr Doherty or his family. I was trying to get him to listen to me about what the Government was doing to us here in Donegal, with this so-called 'Enhanced Scheme'. As Mr Doherty would say himself, they are only ordinary homeowners. I accept that is his honest opinion and I am certainly not blaming homeowners for being taken advantage of by this unjust Government,” said Cllr McBrearty.

Mr McBrearty said his WhatsApp message to Michael Doherty concerned the home of his elderly parents, which has tested positive for Pyrrhotite, Minor Pyrite, Rare Pyrite, Chalcopyrite and Marcasite.

He said the message contained Test Suite C results on the Sulphide Attack on their home.

Cllr McBrearty added: “I also attached a second Test Suite C result, that of my first cousin's home, which has also been devastated by Sulphide Attack. Both these homes are also affected by extremely high levels of Free Muscovite Mica, due to no fault of their own.

“I never envisaged a private message would be shared on a social media platform in the way it was. However, this is no excuse for me sending it in the first place.

“My father's business premises are going to have testing carried out on them in the new year, that includes the flooding remediation works constructed by us at our own cost.

“My Parents are now retired and they were hoping to sell their business properties at some point. That prospect has now been put on hold due to concerns about deleterious materials and sulphide minerals contained in the concrete and concrete blocks. The same manufacturer supplied them with concrete and concrete blocks. My parents have no other choice but to have their properties tested, just like so many others in this man made scandal,” said Cllr McBrearty.

Cllr McBrearty completed his position paper titled: 'All Deleterious Materials and Sulphide Minerals Scandal: Republic of Ireland', this week.

He is also preparing statements of claims on behalf of his parents and cousin, with his legal team, which will be submitted to the High Court.

Cllr McBrearty said: “We are issuing a case against the Irish state for its failure to protect our homes and properties and for not insuring that a self-regulatory concrete industry was being policed properly by Government and local authorities, including Donegal County Council. We hope that, if successful, there will be multiple cases following.

“Over the last number of months, the work which has gone into my position paper and uncovering the facts around the five mica houses in Buncrana purchased by Donegal County Council and for which it has not been held to account, has put horrendous pressure on me and my family, as I have put hundreds of man-hours into this investigation. I am only one man fighting to expose this systemic corruption.

“My passion for people rights and their civil rights can sometimes make me over passionate, with feelings of frustration, anxiety, fear and reacting too quickly and saying what I think before I think about what I am saying. This sometimes hurts people's feelings and is probably my biggest fault.

“Once again, I am sincerely sorry for any hurt I caused to Mr Doherty or his family,” said Cllr McBrearty.

Cllr McBrearty said the whole scandal had affected people's mental and physical health, including that of himself and his immediate family and wider circle.

“I am someone who fully understands this,” he added, “as I have suffered from mental and physical health problems over the years myself, especially from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I shared my own experience of this in May 2013 in the last month of my term as Mayor of the county.

“Sometimes I forget this and I have to remind myself to be more caring of people's situations. Not everyone can overcome what my family and I have personally endured in an injustice case, like the Mica / Deleterious Materials and Sulphide mineral scandal. As they say its OK not to be OK. No-one should anyone be ashamed of having this illness, just like any other.

“Finally, I want to reiterate my unreserved and sincere apology to Michael for the hurt I may have caused him and his family with my misguided comments on WhatsApp.

“I would like to wish Michael, his family and all the victims of this scandal, a safe and happy Christmas. Maybe the New year will bring changes to this unworkable scheme. Maybe 2022 will be a better one for everybody. Maybe the Government will see sense and give people a proper 100% redress grant scheme," concluded Cllr McBrearty.

Fiat justitia ruat caelum: "Let justice be done though the heavens falls"

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