Mica campaigners protest in Edinburgh


Liam Duffy

THE outcry over the mica scandal in Ireland came to the streets of Edinburgh as a protest was held at the Irish Consulate.

With thousands of houses crumbling following the use of defective materials— namely concrete with too much mica
contained, which causes water damage to buildings—high protests have been held in Ireland, and friends and relatives of those affected gathered to show their support from Scotland (above).

With the Irish Government offering 90 per cent of costs to those affected, victims—most notably in Donegal, the worst affected region —have called for 100 per cent of costs to be met by the government, citing a similar scandal in Dublin in which full costs were met.

The protest was organised by Andy McGrath —a builder based in Paisley—whose family’s home is affected by the faulty materials.

“This is a scandal of huge proportions that has caused untold grief and heartache to people whose homes are affected by these defective concrete building blocks,” Mr McGrath said. “There are many thousands of first, second and third generation Irish people living in Scotland who have family and friends whose lives have been turned upside down because their homes are literally falling down around them.

“In Donegal alone, where I have family, there are more than 5000 homes which have become uninhabitable because of the excess mica in the brickwork.

“We have seen a massive campaign in the Republic to try to force the Irish Government to live up to their responsibilities by giving the people affected 100 per cent redress and pay the full cost of rebuilding.

“It’s the least they can do after the government failed to properly police the regulations around the manufacture of this type of brickwork.”

Explaining the motivations of the protestors, Mr McGrath continued by calling for the costs to be met in full by the Government and offering the continued support of Irish people in Scotland for those affected.

“The current government’s stance of only offering to pay 90 per cent of rebuild costs is all the more galling when a similar issue of pyrite in brickwork was discovered in Dublin, the government gave these homeowners 100 per cent redress and covered the total rebuild costs,” he said. “We may be across the Irish Sea here in Scotland, but we will stand shoulder to shoulder with those campaigning for the government to pay 100 per cent of the rebuild costs to the innocent victims of this scandal.

“Today, we are handing in a letter of protest to the Consulate General of Ireland, in Scotland and asking the Consul General, Jane McCulloch to relay our anger and determination to continue campaigning on behalf of our families and friends in Ireland to her Government in Dublin.”