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14 Aug 2022

Mica Action Group says council’s approach to crisis ‘has failed miserably’

Council’s defective concrete blocks committee told it is not working

Mica Action Group calls on  councillors to put pressure on TDs

Michael Doherty of the Mica Action Group has told a county council committee that the local authority has failed to deliver on the mica crisis

The Mica Action Group has heavily criticised county councillors and council officials in the wake of the passing of the latest defective concrete blocks scheme.

The group has asked for “leadership” from the council ahead of the implementation of the new scheme which was passed last week in the Dáil.

The group has been heavily critical of the new redress scheme, which it says will see affected homeowners facing costs of tens of thousands of euro to remediate their homes.

Addressing a meeting of the council’s defective concrete blocks committee, the group’s public relations officer Michael Doherty,  criticised the speed of action of the council and questioned the functioning of the committee itself which he described as too big.

“What I ask for is leadership from this council,” he said, adding that “it is not good enough” that “nothing seems to move with any sense of urgency”.

“I would ask for our executive in the council to be leaders, and go do that and to demonstrate what leadership looks like because we have not seen that.”

While he said some actions by councillors and officials have been helpful, he called for “a different approach” from the council, “because what we have had to date has failed miserably”.

“We are just not getting there - it is not happening,” he said.

Addressing councillors at the committee, he said they were not being proactive enough to address issues such as the large number of stalled applications to the defective blocks grant scheme. 

“There has to be more than what we are getting and it hasn't happened yet.”

He said some issues had been discussed months ago but no progress has been made since.

“It is not good enough - where is the follow-up? It can't always be in somebody else’s court.”

He said he does not think the defective blocks committee works. “It is too big. We have far too many people", and that “eats into business time”. 

Referring to the fact that just 13 homes have been remediated under the council-administered scheme, he said: “This is not working. We are going to have a new scheme with brand new challenges and I don't see anything getting any easier around here.”

He called for “a small team” to help deliver remediation under the new scheme. “What has happened to date has not worked. Please don’t be in this same situation next time around.” 

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