Mica campaign accuses Government of pitting homeowners against each other

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The Mica Action Group has accused the Government of attempting to “pit homeowner against homeowner” as the protests outside Leinster House continue today.

Michael Doherty, PRO and spokesperson for the group said that they met with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien last night and are “very, very concerned”.

Speaking on RTE Radio One, Mr Doherty discussed last night’s meeting where the Minister told campaigners he will bring a memo to Cabinet in two to three weeks time.

He said: “Just in context, it’s the last day of the month of September. It was a massive day for seven thousand homeowners in Donegal.

“We waited with bated breath to see what the outcome was going to be obviously with Mayo and the other four counties as well.

“We met the Minister yesterday evening. We presented our final position paper, a paper that we already presented two weeks ago to the working group.

“There was no corresponding position paper from the Department officials which was very disappointing. We listened to the Minister again reaffirm his commitment to an enhanced scheme.

“And we were told that we would get the consolidated final working group document today and that would be a draft and if we’re happy with it we sign off on that.

“What we believe that would be is simply the two positions from ourselves and the officials laid out side by side.

“But you know, again, there was nothing concrete. Two to three weeks time at cabinet meeting hopefully at the end of that we’ll see what comes out at the other side of the pipe.”

Mr Doherty said it looks like the Government are trying to pit members of the Mica Action Group against each other.

He said: “But we’re very very concerned. This kite flying again of 350k with caps being floated, that leaves 40% of our homeowners behind.”

“It looks like a deliberate attempt to pit homeowner against homeowner here where they’re hoping that those who qualify abandon those that are left behind.

“We’ve been united in this all the way through and we will not allow that to happen.”

According to Mr Doherty, the group has calculated all of the costs involved to replace the homes and a 350k limit on the redress scheme will leave approximately 40% of homeowners behind.

He said: “We have already worked out through the SESI calculator what it costs to replace the homes that we’ve got.

“There’s about 40k alone of Mica affected costs, regards testing, regards planning permissions, regards rental accommodations needed temporarily.

“So there’s 40k lost to that, non value that’s added to the homeowner.

“There is then the construction costs themselves, we know the way they have been inflated. And the numbers we’re using are the same numbers that the insurance companies use.

“And at 350k we leave 40% of our people behind and that is not acceptable.”

Protesters will gather outside Leinster House today once again to demand 100% redress.

Mr Doherty said the scheme “cannot leave people behind”.

He said: “Remember once again, it’s very important, this is at absolutely no fault to the homeowner and the fault lies firmly and squarely with the lack of regulations and enforcement of regulations by the state at the time that has left homeowners here in the situation that is just unbearable.

“We cannot leave people behind here. This is our one time to do it and to do it right and we want everybody included. There should be no one left behind.

“There has been people protesting outside Leinster House for the full month of September, that was organised through the campaign here.

“Myself and Paddy Denver are coming down here on the last day of the campaign to show our support again”

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