Minister tells Mica action group – go to court or talk to your builder

Anger as Government disassociate themselves with defective block issue

Visible cracks on a house in Donegal - picture from Mica Action GroupAN INISHOWEN councillor has criticised a government minister after he told homeowners who have been affected by the ‘MICA’ defective blocks crisis to resolve the problem with their builders or seek compensation through the courts.

Minister of Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly said he understood the “extremely difficult and distressing situations” that are facing some Inishowen homeowners due to the defective blocks.

However he said it should be a matter for the ‘responsible parties’, such as the builders or suppliers, to take ‘appropriate action’ to provide remedies to the homeowner’s difficulties.

In his detailed response to parliamentary questions put to him by Inishowen TDs Charlie McConalogue and Padraig MacLochlainn, Minister Kelly said he wished to acknowledge the ‘stressful situations’ which individuals face when building works are not completed to the required acceptable standard.

But he believed that building defects are matters for resolution between the relevant contracting parties, i.e. the homeowner, the builder, the supplier and/or their respective insurers. He suggested that if the parties cannot reach a settlement by negotiation the option of seeking redress in the Courts can be considered. He also advised that some of the homes affected by the MICA blocks may be covered by a ‘structural guarantee or insurance’, which could potentially give the homeowners another avenue in which to receive compensation.

Minister Kelly said he was aware that members of the Mica Action Group met with a representative of the Pyrite Resolution Board earlier this year, but he said the Board had no powers to investigate the alleged use of defective blocks in the construction of the houses in Donegal.

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