Historic day as MICA redress scheme signed off by Government

Donegal TD Joe McHugh has heralded the signing off of regulations for the MICA redress scheme as “a landmark day” as he visited one affected household in Inishowen today.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 4:44 pm
Group including Councillor Bernard McGuinness, Ann Owens (Mica Action Group), Minister Joe McHugh, Eileen Doherty, MAG and Michael Doherty (former Fine Gael Councillor) and other MAG members in Inishowen today.

The Minister for Education and Skills announced that regulations for the scheme to repair homes affected by Mica have been finalised and signed off by Government as he paid tribute to those who have led the campaign.

Numerous homeowners across Inishowen and other parts of Donegal have been dealing with the nightmare of finding out their homes are affected by defective and crumbling bricks for several years, and the Mica Action Group (MAG) have been instrumental in lobbying the government to take action alongside local representatives.

Minister McHugh said the confirmation of the scheme is the “culmination of huge effort and response to an exceptional problem and a deeply distressing legacy”.

He said his party had been “committed to doing the right thing for affected homeowners”.

“A number of people have been key to making this happen, not least An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who recognised the need for a Government response.

“It was a local Fine Gael councillor Bernard McGuinness who first brought this crisis to public attention. He sat up and took notice before others and he deserves credit.

He added: “To mark the realisation of the scheme being finalised I went to a home in North Inishowen today, with members of the Mica Action Group, to an area where the problem was first discovered.

“The committee which has led the Group, including Eileen Doherty and Ann Owens, as well as other distressed homeowners, have shown tremendous determination and also deserve huge credit.

“There has been considerable work on the regulations for the Mica scheme, led by the Attorney General Seamus Woulfe, and signed off by Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy.

“It has been a complex piece of work and the confirmation today will now allow Donegal County Council to take ownership of the administration of the scheme and set about assessing homes and helping homeowners to get them fixed and up to the standards they should always have been.”