Mica scheme due to be aired at Cabinet

An eagerly anticipated mica redress scheme may be brought to Cabinet today after being waylaid by Brexit several times.

Minister of State for Housing, Damien English, said a scheme to address pattern-cracking in thousands of Donegal homes built with blocks containing the mineral ‘muscovite mica’ is now complete.

Pattern-cracking at a mica-affected home.

Pattern-cracking at a mica-affected home.

He said: “Our Department, in conjunction with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, has been working on it for the past few months.

“It was ready to bring to Cabinet a few times but different issues arose with Brexit and so on. We hope to bring it either to the next Cabinet meeting [today] or the one after that to have it dealt with.

“We have discussed the proposed scheme with the residents affected, both in Donegal and in Mayo, on numerous occasions and all the issues about which they have concerns were brought to the table. The scheme should satisfy most people’s needs.”

The Minister confirmed there was likely to be movement in response to questions from Fianna Fáil T.D., Charlie McConalogue, who said “the patience of homeowners in Donegal...is well run out.”

“They have been waiting for a long time for the Government to come forward with a scheme,” said Deputy McConalogue, who urged the Government to bring it before Cabinet today before the Dáil rises for Easter.

He said it should cover the full cost of repair and be “broad enough to ensure those homeowners who want to start work can get on with it and be taken out of the misery and stress involved with having a house which continues to deteriorate”.