Ireland

Stephen Kenny voices support for families affected by Mica scandal

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has thrown his support behind families affected by the Mica scandal.

It comes ahead of a huge protest march planned to take place in Dublin on Tuesday, with thousands expected to march on Leinster House.

Defective building blocks containing the mineral mica have caused cracks and fissures to open up in an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 homes primarily in Donegal and Mayo.

Campaigners have criticised the Government redress scheme and are calling for 100 per cent of their costs, with many of the homes facing demolition.

On Monday, the Ireland boss lent his voice to the growing numbers supporting the campaign in a video posted online.

Mr Kenny said: “I lived in Donegal for many years and I’ve seen first hand families being so distressed because their houses are literally disintegrating before their eyes.

“They’re unsure if they can live in their homes, where will they live. They can never sell their homes.

“It’s a huge number of houses. It’s so stressful for them, because they’ve put themselves out there with their families, getting substantial mortgages. Trying to do the right thing, with very little redress.

“We really hope a solution can be found, a fair and equitable solution for all the families. Because they’re hardworking people and they deserve a fair solution.”

Upfront charge

It was reported at the weekend that Taoiseach Micheál Martin was seeking a meeting with the affected families ahead of Tuesday’s protest.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has warned the cost of the current redress scheme has already exceeded €1 billion.

Campaigners have criticised the scheme for an upfront charge of €5,000 for access, failing to provide alternative accommodation and covering 90 per cent of costs, compared to 100 per cent covered by the Pyrite scheme, which also involved faulty materials resulting in damage to homes.

The union Siptu have also come out in support of the campaign.

Organiser Kevin McKinney said: “There has been a clear failure to adequately police compliance with the regulations governing construction materials.

“These regulations are supposed to protect families from the issues that thousands are now having to endure.

“Families have no choice but to continue to pay a mortgage for a home that is worthless.

“Many have been forced to move out of their homes due to them becoming unsafe, with some resorting to living in caravans as they cannot afford to rent.

“The Government has proposed a completely inadequate redress scheme for the homeowners affected.

“The owners of these homes are not at fault in anyway and should not be out of pocket for carrying out the remedial work required.

Ireland

Thousands march in Donegal demanding action on cru…

“What is needed is a commitment from the Government to provide the homeowners affected with 100 per cent compensation for carrying out the work necessary to make their homes inhabitable.”

Homeowners from Donegal, Mayo and Clare will gather outside the Convention Centre in Dublin, where the Dáil is being held due to Covid-19 restrictions, at 1.30pm on Tuesday.

From there, they will walk to Leinster House, for a demonstration between 3pm and 4pm.

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