News & Media

Labour backs call for 100% redress for MICA homes

15 June 2021

Statement by Senator Marie Sherlock
Seanad Whip and Spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Media, Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht

The Labour Party backed the campaign for 100% redress for those impacted by Mica in Donegal and the North West, and speaking in the Seanad, Labour Senator Marie Sherlock pledged support saying: 

“The Mica crisis in Inishowen and other parts of the North West must be addressed. I have been going to Carndonagh regularly for almost 17 years as my husband is from there. I have never before seen the depth of anger, frustration and desperation among so many in the community about this issue.  

“Hundreds of families have been left to fend for themselves with their houses crumbling around them due to no fault of their own. We need to have a scheme that provides 100% redress. Thousands have travelled to Dublin to make that point to the Government and today I was delighted to stand with Labour councillor Martin Farren who has fought for years on behalf of families affected by the issue in Inishowen.          

“It is simply not acceptable that a 100% redress scheme was put in place for pyrite yet a much lesser scheme put in place for mica. The 90% offered in that scheme is not enough. It does not even cover the rent that people will need to pay for other accommodation when their houses are being done up. It also does not pay for the expert reports. 

“It is also not acceptable that a company who sold the faulty blocks cannot be held to account because of a 10 year statute of limitations on product liability.

"There is understandable anger and frustration in the communities across Inishowen that a company was able to simply fold and then the directors were able to set up a new company. 

"We now have a situation where there is graffiti and posters calling for a boycott of a firm, allegations of intimidation of employees of the company. No worker trying to earn a decent day’s pay should ever be subjected to this and we now need to channel that frustration into ensuring that the law is changed- that companies cannot evade their responsibilities by folding and where a defect in the product becomes apparent after 10 years."

Labour Housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said: 

“We support those marching and calling for 100% redress. This is an issue along the western seaboard and the government need to ensure all those affected are eligible. There must be a similar treatment as for pyrite. This isn’t just homes, it’s also schools, community centres and businesses.  

“We really need to investigate this, and put in place a strong and robust inspection process for construction defects. If that doesn’t happen we will have more scandals like this. New homes should be lasting a lot longer than this.”