MICA protest: Thousands from Donegal and beyond gather in Dublin for protest today

Thousands of mica and pyrite affected homeowners and supportersfrom Donegal and beyond are gathering in Dublin today, Friday, for a protest demanding 100% redress for their crumbling homes.

It is understood the numbers booked on buses to the event have already exceeded that of the first protest in June, with many others making their way by car.

Numerous businesses across Donegal, including many in the ‘epicentre’ of the crisis in Inishowen, have announced their intention to close for the day to allow staff to travel to Dublin.

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The protest will begin at the Gardens of Remembrance at Parnell Square at 12pm, making its way initially to O’Connell Bridge and then moving on from there through the city.

Thousands of affected home owwners, families and supporters are gathering in Dublin.

Homeowners have been campaigning for 100% redress for the best part of 10 years with a previous scheme deemed not fit for purpose. A report published last week by the Defective Blocks Working Group set up by the government has also been criticised for not recommending 100% redress. Family representatives in the group have refused to sign off on the document.

Campaigner Paddy Diver, who reignited the campaign earlier this year, said he has ‘never been as proud to be an Inishowen and Donegal man’ and described the support as ‘unbelievable.’

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He appealed to everyone who can to travel to Dublin today and ‘do not have regrets.’

“The eyes of the world are on us. This could be the change we need. Go to Dublin and help make that change. Everyone needs to go down as this is the fight of our lives. Wear your Donegal colours if you want. We asked people to wear black and white, but wear anything, as long as you’re there.”

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There has been much support for the campaign across the country, including in Derry.

Derry Trades Union Councilsaid it ‘wholeheartedly supports the campaign for 100% Redress by those affected by the Mica scandal in Donegal and other parts of Ireland.’

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“Those suffering the effects of this ... deserve to have their homes repaired or replaced where necessary at no cost to themselves.

“We call on the Irish government to meet the demands of the people to ensure a lasting and sustainable solution to this crisis.”

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Colum Eastwood MP said those affected ‘have taken matters into their own hands and have mounted an impressive, grassroots campaign for justice and redress.’

He added: “As we speak, more homes are decaying with no end in sight.

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“Most cannot afford to start again, nor should they have to-it’s important that the state addresses this issue urgently.”