Mica-affected schoolchildren to gather outside Dail Eireann

Fifty schoolchildren from across Inishowen and Donegal will travel to Dail Eireann tomorrow to have their voices heard on mica.

By Laura Glenn
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 3:12 pm
Thousands of people attended a protest in Dublin recently, calling for 100% redress for homes affected by defective blocks.
Thousands of people attended a protest in Dublin recently, calling for 100% redress for homes affected by defective blocks.

The move comes as the Mica Action Group also confirmed they will put forward candidates for election if 100% redress is not delivered.

The campaign’s momentum continues to build, with reports capturing attention internationally as pressure builds on the government to deliver for mica and pyrite affected families.

The children who will stand outside Dail Eireann tomorrow, accompanied by a parent, have all written letters highlighting the impact of mica, as have school principals. The Minister for Children, Minister for Education, Taoiseach, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party Leader have been urged to meet the children at the gates of the Dail to accept their letters.

Campaigners have organised the protest as they say the children are being ignored and their voices are not being heard. Yesterday, MAG PRO Michael Doherty said the decision to put forward candidates is a ‘political one’ and ‘if it’s a case they can’t find the way to do the right thing by us, we’ll put someone in place who is going to look after us’.

Michael said he has been informed that the government and Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien have ‘never tried harder’ to overcome difficulties than what they’re doing now.

“But, at the end of the day, it’s a results game for us. If they don’t come out the right side of it, we need someone in there’.

He added that if 100% redress is not given, campaigners will seek TDs to submit a vote of no confidence in the Minister and force a General Election.

It has come to light that the government is 3.8billion euro better off than projected, due to Corporation Tax receipts of 13.8 billion. They therefore will borrow substantially less than the 14 billion euro expected, but,as MAG PRO Doherty outlined, are not using the rest to finance redress which he claimed showed a ‘disregard’ for people affected. Running mica-focused candidates is a ‘political decision,’ said Michael, ‘as if it’s a case that they can’t find the right way to do the right thing by us, we’ll put someone in place who us going to look after us.”

If 100% redress is not granted, campaigners will also seek opposition party TDs and those from affected counties to submit a motion of no confidence in Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien. They believe they will have a enough support to ‘tip the balance of power in government’ and force a General Election. “We don’t want to do it, but a job is not done until it is done,” said Michael.