'Biggest scandal in history of State'

Cross-party calls for Mica Public Inquiry

Mica 'Biggest scandal in history of State'

Mica 'Biggest scandal in history of State'

The Mica issue has been described as the “biggest scandal in the history of the State.

Speaking at Tuesday's emergency Donegal County Council Mica Redress Committee Meeting, Councillor Frank McBrearty (Independent) reiterated his call for a Mica Public Inquiry.

Cllr McBrearty said Donegal TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn had called for a Public Inquiry earlier in the week, as well as a rejection of the scheme in its current format.

Cllr McBrearty added: “As a Council, we should be demanding a Mica Public Inquiry.

“Donegal County Council's Mica Redress Committee does not have any power, therefore, at our May plenary meeting, we, as a Council, should be calling, as a whole, demanding, that we reject this [Mica] Redress Scheme in its current format. It should be increased to 100%.

“If we are to get the root of the problem, where this all started, we have to hold a Public Inquiry, otherwise, we will never get to the bottom of what manufacturer actually created this problem in the first place.

“This is not just an Inishowen or Letterkenny problem, it is also in the Lifford – Stranorlar Municipal District and we are getting no mention at all. I believe it is other areas of Donegal as well, but there are a lot of people frightened to say they have got mica. As a Council, we have to be vocal, calling for this Redress Scheme to be scrapped and a new redress scheme established, with 100% and the Public Inquiry has to be a must,” said Cllr McBrearty.

“If you look at all of the scandals that have happened in this country,” added Cllr McBrearty, “the Blood Tribunal, the Mother and Baby Homes, sexual abuse scandals and the policing scandal, the only way that people got to know the truth of what actually happened and the source of where it happened, was in a Public Inquiry.

“If a Public Inquiry is established, that begins an investigation, which has never happened here yet. And recommendations will come out of that investigation, for example, what legislation needs to be put in place.

“Because we do not know if these companies are still selling mica-affected products. We don't know that. Everything is allegations at the minute. We can't prove anything because there has been no proper investigation into why this happened in the first place.

“It is a scandal in itself that people are being quoted €5,000 to €7,000 for engineers' reports. That is not right. The State should cover that cost. If we don't take a stand now, as members of the Council, we are going to get the blame for this Redress Scheme not working. The TDs in Donegal should never have supported the Redress Scheme. They knew it was never going to work. The vast majority of people can't afford to go into the Redress Scheme. If it haven't been for covid, I'd say the protests would have been a lot bigger than they are at the moment. Mica is the biggest scandal in the housing / construction industry in the history of the State,” said Cllr McBrearty.

Councillors Bernard McGuinness (Fine Gael), Paul Canning (Fianna Fáil) and Gerry McMonagle also supported the establishment of a Mica Public Inquiry at Tuesday's Mica Redress Committee Meeting.

See also: Donegal Mica Monster Rally planned for May

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