"Thousands of people" expected in Dublin as 45 busloads of protesters plan to attend Mica demonstration
"We just want our homes back..."
Donegal homeowners, whose houses are crumbling due to the use of defective concrete blocks containing high levels of the mineral mica, will protest at The Convention Centre in Dublin on Tuesday 15 June.
The protestors are lobbying for a 100% redress scheme to cover repair and rebuild costs for their houses – a scheme which would likely cost the State over €1 billion.
Under the current Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme put in place last year, the Government will cover 90% of costs, leaving homeowners to foot the bill for the remaining 10%.
In order to qualify, homeowners must pay for two tests to determine the presence of mica - a huge financial burden for many families.
The mica scandal is similar to the pyrite issue that previously affected a large number of properties in Leinster, where the Government introduced a scheme covering all repair costs.
Speaking on the subject to JOE, Eileen Doherty, campaigner for the 100% Regress Campaign for Mica Families, said:
“When you compare what the people in Leinster got with pyrite and you compare what we are being asked to accept, it is unbelievable discrimination, we feel. Because we just don’t feel we can fix our homes with the current scheme.
We are going to Dublin to say that we deserve better. We are equal citizens to the State. We are taxpayers ourselves. We have built our homes and paid our mortgages.
You did not do what you were supposed to do. You must give us redress the same as you have done in Leinster. We’re not looking for luxury homes. We just want our homes back.”
Government leaders are set to discuss the situation at a pre-cabinet meeting on Monday evening.
Doherty stated that campaigners are “expecting thousands of people” to turn out in support tomorrow.
"The number of buses I've been quoted is 45. The buses are literally full and there's a waiting list - a cancellation list. The hotels near The Convention Centre are full of people from Donegal. I can assure you most people aren't traveling tomorrow. I'm on my way with my daughter at the minute. The hotel I'm staying in, there are loads of people from Donegal and the Clayton down the road is full of Donegal people."
The demonstration is due to take place on Tuesday at 1.30 pm outside The Convention Centre in Dublin 1. For more information, see the event details here.