Thousands are expected to attend a protest outside the Dáil today over the mica redress scheme.
Homeowners from the west and north-west will call for the State redress scheme to be upped from 90% to 100% of the cost of repairs.
There are believed to be nearly 5,000 homes in County Donegal that were built using defective concrete blocks containing high levels of the mineral mica.
The redress scheme to repair the houses is expected to cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of Euros.
In around one-third of cases, the houses will need to be demolished and rebuilt.
The final bill could dwarf the spend on redress for the pyrite contamination of homes in Dublin and Leinster.
Currently, homeowners have to come up with 10% of the cost of repairs to access the 90% redress on offer by the State – unlike the pyrite scheme which offered 100% redress.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning Jamie Lee Donnelly from the North Mayo Pyrite Group said the current redress scheme is “inadequate and inaccessible.”
“They trialled this 90% scheme and there are so many hidden costs that go along that when you get into the devil of the detail, it is not 90% at all,” she said.
“Even if it was a true 90/10 scheme, why should us homeowners have to foot that other 10% when this is no failing of our own?
“We bought our homes in good faith; we built our homes in good faith. These blocks didn’t come off the back of a lorry or off the black market – these were bought from companies that are registered in Ireland that are still operating today. Still making profits in this country.”
Mica and pyrite are minerals that were used in building blocks for thousands of Celtic Tiger-era homes.
When too much is present, the minerals can absorb water and cause walls to crack. Blocks in some homes in Donegal have been found to have as much as 17 times more mica than permitted.
Government ministers are expected to discuss the mica edress scheme at Cabinet this morning ahead of the protest.
Ms Donnelly said protesters were compelled to come to Dublin today because thousands of homes around the country are “literally crumbling.”
“This is a failing of our government,” she said. “This is a failure of the Government that was in power at the time when the homes were being built.
“There was a lack of regulation, there was a lack of oversight, there were these light-touch regulations.
“We paid for our homes. They say 10% and 10% sounds like a small number but 10% is tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Euros. People don’t have it.”
She warned that failure to fix the home will cause the current housing crisis to “get a hell of a lot worse.”
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