Thousands of homeowners across Ireland marched on Dublin on Friday demanding 100% redress for homes affected by what has been dubbed “the Mica scandal”.
The protesters are calling for the government to compensate the full cost attached to rebuilding their homes which have been affected by defective building blocks.
The Mica scandal, named after the mineral in the bricks that absorbs water and causes walls to crack and crumble, is estimated to have affected more than 20,000 homes.
Most of those houses are in the northwest region of Ireland. The homeowners have accused the government of repeatedly delaying addressing their concerns.
Dublin has promised a compensation package that is set to be one of the biggest ever in the history of the state.
Speaking to Euronews, reporter Ken Murray said that a wave of extraordinary anger could be felt at the protest.
“You’re talking about people who’ve invested their life savings into houses in very scenic parts of the country. They built their houses 10 and 15 years ago, and over a period of time, those houses have literally crumbled before people’s eyes. And in a lot of cases, people now have nowhere to live at all,” he said.
Many of these houses have now collapsed and former residents have now been forced to live in rented accommodation or in mobile homes or trailers. Friday’s events mark the second protest on the scandal in three months.
The government is hoping that the activists will reach a compromise and is prepared to grant those affected 90 percent redress or compensation.
However, protesters have said they feel it is grossly unfair to expect homeowners to fork out the remaining 10 percent and have instead insisted that the government cover the full amount.
Members of the ruling Fianna Fail and Fine Gael Party who are from the constituency of Donegal were booed by protesters during the march.
Activists have said that if this matter isn’t dealt with in the next year or so, they are going to run candidates at the next general election to try and oust the members of Parliament from the ruling party.
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