Republic of Ireland news

Mica redress scheme could cost 3.2bn euro

Protesters during a demonstration outside the Government Buildings in Dublin on June 14 2021 to demand a 100% redress scheme for homes and properties affected by bricks contaminated with mica. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire
Dominic McGrath, PA

The cost of a compensation scheme for homeowners affected by mica could reach 3.2 billion euro, according to a report.

The draft report, compiled by a working group set up by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien, did not recommend 100% redress, as demanded by campaigners.

Campaigners want 100% redress for homeowners whose properties were built using defective bricks containing excessive amounts of the mineral mica in Donegal, Mayo and other counties.

The report, shared with homeowners late last night, suggests a revised scheme will not cover 100% of the cost when a mica-affected property needs to be demolished and rebuilt.

The current cost to the government for the revised scheme is 1.4 billion euros, according to the report.

However, the working group said: “Based on the homeowners’ final submission the estimated costs of the changes requested could rise by 1.8 billion to 3.2 billion euro.”

In cases where a property can be fixed without demolition, a 100% grant will be provided for “remediation options”.

It is understood that a protest by mica campaigners will still take place in Dublin this month.

Department of Housing figures suggest around 6,600 homes “may require remediation arising from defective concrete blocks”.

“This includes all potentially eligible privately owned homes in the counties of Donegal and Mayo and an estimate for homes in other local authority areas which may come into the scheme,” according to the draft report.

“This figure also includes an estimated 1,000 social homes which according to local authorities will need remediation.”

The working group report will be considered by senior members of the Government, including Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan.

A proposal on a revised compensation scheme is expected to be brought to Cabinet shortly by Mr O’Brien.

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