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Children protest outside Dáil calling for 100% Mica redress scheme

The children said all they want is to feel safe in their homes.

Children gather outside Leinster House this morning to call for a 100% redress Mica scheme.
Children gather outside Leinster House this morning to call for a 100% redress Mica scheme.

CHILDREN HAVE BEEN protesting against the Mica scandal outside Leinster House today.

A group of around 50 children from Donegal demonstrated outside the gates from early this morning.

The protest was raised with the Taoiseach in the Dáil with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald telling Micheál Martin to go outside the gates and explain why the children have to be afraid to play outside their crumbling homes.

The Taoiseach said: “We fully accept that for children to grow up in that situation is unacceptable, it is shocking that bricks were produced to that quality.”

He said the scandal has ruined the dreams of many families, stating that the “situation is shocking” that children have to come and protest outside Leinster House. He said the message had been received from the children.

McDonald told the Taoiseach that he should have to look the children in the eye and explain to them why they are living this nightmare.

However, Martin said he checked with his staff prior to Leaders’ Questions, stating that no invite to his office had been received ahead of today’s protest.

The Mica Redress action group has said invites were issued to the Taoiseach and other ministers ahead of today’s demonstration. 

Children outside Leinster House this morning chanted “come out Micheál Martin”, in a bid to get the Taoiseach to speak to them.

Campaigners want a scheme to help families whose homes have been destroyed or damaged by mica, a mineral that can absorb water, due to building blocks cracking and crumbling.

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The Government has faced criticism for only offering 90% under the current scheme, leaving property owners with significant bills to repair or rebuild homes.

Campaigners have blamed a lack of building regulations and oversight of materials.

An estimated 5,000 homes in Co Donegal are affected by defective bricks, with thousands more understood to be in Counties Sligo, Clare and Limerick.

A report found that the cost of a full compensation scheme could reach €3.2 billion.

Martin said today in the Dáil that the situation is not as simple as is being presented, stating that there will have to be an enormous provision of resources to deal with the Mica scandal.

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