Public face of MICA campaign steps down over online abuse

Mica campaigner, Paddy Diver said his family has been targeted for abuse. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Mica campaigner, Paddy Diver said his family has been targeted for abuse. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire.

THE Donegal man who became the public face of the campaign for a proper redress scheme for Mica home owners is withdrawing from the project because of abuse.

Paddy Diver from Carndonagh said trolls and others had targeted his family over his involvement.

An estimated 5,000 homes are believed to be at risk of collapse because they were built with defective Mica blocks. The use of `Mica Muscovite' mineral dust in the blocks causes cement to crumble when exposed to moisture, causing huge cracks in the houses.

Following the discovery of the defective blocks in houses built since the 1980s, the Mica Action Group (MAG) was set up to campaign for a government redress scheme to help owners repair or re-build their homes.

MAG's campaign initially failed to obtain the government support it needed. However, the involvement of Mr Diver, and several others, revitalised the campaign. Through social media, Mr Diver became the public face and helped organise massive protests in Dublin.

Using social media, Mr Diver made passionate calls for everyone in Donegal to come out in support. As a result, businesses throughout the county closed for the day to allow employees join the huge cavalcade of buses and cars making the journey south.

However, he has now announced he is withdrawing.

"It’s been a difficult few days but I’ve come to the conclusion that I can no longer continue to be a part of the 100% Redress campaign. Family and health come first and to be truthful it’s taken its toll recently," he said.

He added that his wife, brothers, sister and brother-in-law had been targeted for abuse. Mr Diver said the campaign would continue to achieve all the aims set by MAG.

Among those to pay tribute to Mr Diver yesterday were Sinn Féin TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.

Mr Mac Lochlainn said: “We stand with Paddy Diver. So many traumatised families in Donegal found their strength and their voice thanks to his courage and passion.”