Donegal Mica scandal could cost an estimated €2 billion to repair or replace claims Aontú rep

Calls for action to tackle Mica mayhem

Donegal Mica scandal could cost an estimated €2 billion to repair or replace

Aontú Glenties Electoral Area representative, David McDwyer

The devastating extent of Mica mayhem in Donegal is now certainly coming to light throughout the whole county, said Aontú Glenties Electoral Area representative, David McDwyer today.

In a statement this afternoon he slammed the neglect of Donegal by the Government in the crisis and warned nothing less than immediate action was needed to address the problem

"This issue is not new to Aontú as we have been fighting - and will continue to fight - for a full redress for all homes affected.

"Growing up I worked for my father’s construction company. I have seen first-hand the joy and hope for the future families felt as they saw their forever home gradually come to fruition when visiting different stages of the build.

"Now it repels me to my core to witness families suffer unimaginable distress while their houses and lives crumble around them.

He said when the scheme was finally agreed with the Government in 2018 and it opened for applications last summer.

"However, with engineer reports coming in thick and fast, approximately 4,000 homes may have to be demolished and rebuilt, though some say up to 10,000 may be affected, costing an estimated €2 billion to repair or replace.

"Those affected by Mica cannot be expected to wait until their houses fall down before they receive their financial compensation.

"If our Government took the decision now to pay out this stupendous sum, not only would it help homeowners, but would kick-start the construction industry and boost the wider economy in Donegal following this disastrous pandemic.

"The current scheme allows for 90% of a redress for those affected by Mica, so the other 10% will have to fall on the shoulders of those affected.

"This will force many to take out a second mortgage, costing tens of thousands of euro. This is shocking and insulting to all those families worried about their dream home collapsing around them."

He added one of the conditions that come with this scheme is a size limit.

"This means that families who have their homes demolished could end up, according to the regulations, having to rebuild a smaller size home.

"Again this is totally unacceptable. When a house gets demolished an exact replica must be built.

"Scandalously, many homeowners are ineligible for the scheme because it is not their primary residence. People who bought holiday homes, landlords and even farmers who built sheds with defective blocks cannot apply to this redress scheme.

"In the current Covid climate people are already stretched financially and can't afford to take on this cost."

Mr McDwyer argued that there needs to be stricter regulations regarding the quality of sand and aggregate that goes into the making of concrete blocks as well as other building materials to ensure that harmful materials like Mica are not present for general use.
"When there was a Pyrite problem in homes in Dublin the Government covered 100% of the cost. So why is Donegal different? Do we semi-civilized citizens up here not pay our fair share of taxes?

"This again is another example of politicians in Dublin completely disregarding the people living in what they seem to view as the 'Peat and Potato Principality'."

He added: "We in the 'Forgotten County' should not have to fight tooth and nail to get what others have already received."

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