‘My house is crumbling, I can’t sit and wait!’

Damien McKay, third from left, front row, of HD McKay Consultant Engineers, who was the guest speaker at the Defective Blocks Report Information Evening held by the Mica Action Group in An Grianan Hotel on Wednesday night, pictured with Mica Action Group committee members, from left, front row, Mary Connors, Ann Owens, Eileen Doherty, Anne Dickenson and Gordon Dickenson, back row, Debbie McDaid, Chris Scott, Noel Noone and Karl Murtagh. DER2517-136KM
Damien McKay, third from left, front row, of HD McKay Consultant Engineers, who was the guest speaker at the Defective Blocks Report Information Evening held by the Mica Action Group in An Grianan Hotel on Wednesday night, pictured with Mica Action Group committee members, from left, front row, Mary Connors, Ann Owens, Eileen Doherty, Anne Dickenson and Gordon Dickenson, back row, Debbie McDaid, Chris Scott, Noel Noone and Karl Murtagh. DER2517-136KM

Homeowners across the county will continue to push for a redress scheme following the publication of th report into defective blocks.

The Mica Action Group (MAG) told the 300-strong crowd at An Grianan Hotel on Wedneday that they are “not going away” and will continue to push for a redress scheme.

At the meeting, MAG revealed that since its launch in July 2014, a total of 570 homeowners had registered with them and responded to their online survey.

“The scale of the problem isn’t reflected in these numbers, but it gives us a good indication that there is a significant issue and it enables us to start looking at the data from the survey, so we can look at the key themes that are emerging,” said Ms. Doherty.

In terms of the scale of where the problem with defective blocks is, the survey had the most respondents in Buncrana, followed by Carndonagh, Letterkenny and Culdaff.

The survey also revealed that some homes affected were built as early as 1980, and Ms. Doherty said one “concerning” issue is that one register homeowner built their house in 2012.

“That’s interesting because this issue has been raised for quite a number of years and we’ve had a number of reassurances that there is no longer an issue with blocks.”

The survey also revealed that 96.7% of the blocks came from the same supplier.

Colrs. Bernard McGuinness, Martin McDermott, Jack Murray, Martin Farren, Paul Canning and Albert Doherty all attended the meeting.

One homeowner said it was key to keep the pressure on the government.

“We need to keep the pressure on. It’s not a party problem.

“The presssure needs to be kept on or else we are going to get a raw deal.

“Will someone end up injured, or worse, because of a product defect?”

Those gathered at the meeting all had the same aim - a redress scheme for affected homeowners.

Concerns were raised about the timescale of a redress scheme, and if and when it was announced, would it take into consideration.

Another homeowner said there was a “real human issue” as well as the issues with the blocks, which is “probably going to get worse.”

“It’s having a real adverse impact on people’s health and people will end up ill as a result of this.

“We need to have this redress issue resolved very quickly. The State has failed us badly on this issue and they continue to fail us,” said the homeowner.

Concerns were also raised about the timescale of a potential redress scheme, as a number of homes needed work carried out on them urgently.

“If I took out a loan now to fix this house, is there anything the government is going to do?

“In the mean time, my house is crumbling, I can’t sit and wait,” said a homeowner.