The Mica Action Group has, for the first time, encouraged affected homeowners to join the ongoing High Court legal action instigated by the Defective Blocks Ireland group.
An estimated 1,800 homeowners have already signed up to the legal action for damages filed against Cassidy Brothers Ltd, Donegal County Council and National Standards Authority of Ireland.
The legal action, led by Dublin law firm Coleman Legal, is being heard at the Commercial Court and will initially focus on individual test cases representative of private homes, holiday homes, semi-detached homes, commercial properties and agricultural premises.
“The outcome of legal proceedings cannot be guaranteed, and homeowners must make a personal decision on whether or not to participate in this process,” Lisa Hone, chairperson of the Mica Action Group (MAG) said, “however it is crucial to recognise that legal proceedings currently represent the only viable pathway that could achieve a true 100% Redress under the present Government.”
The Government’s enhanced €2.7 billion redress scheme, which was enshrined in legislation last July, has not yet come into effect with the Department of Housing having spent more than ten months drawing up the regulations that will underpin its operation.
In a statement, the MAG chair said that the civil rights of Donegal homeowners continue to be ignored and the group is appalled at the dismissive attitude of the Government.
“It is disheartening to witness the dismissive attitude and lack of accountability displayed by the Government,” Ms Hone said.
“Homeowners affected by defective concrete damaged homes deserve justice, fair treatment, and the protection of their civil rights.
“This injustice needs to be continued to be challenged in every way possible.”
Slamming a ‘cold and indifferent approach’ towards homeowners by Government, Ms Hone said it had failed to incorporate the views and recommendations of homeowners and has led to an inequitable and inadequate redress scheme.
The MAG says the revised Government grant scheme has major issues:
- the exclusion of thousands of affected homes and structures
- an assessment protocol that disregards peer-reviewed scientific research conducted by international experts
- a complex and bureaucratic process that burdens affected homeowners with construction project management
- a grant system that forces homeowners to adhere to outdated regulations and leaves them with shortfalls of tens of thousands of euros
- limited alternative accommodation options
- uncertainty surrounding the acceptance of the Certificate of Remediation by banks, insurance and mortgage companies
“Against this troubling backdrop, the Government remains resolute in refusing to acknowledge its responsibility for the generation and perpetuation of the crisis, or to hold any other third party accountable,” Ms Hone continued.
“MAG firmly believes that the civil rights of affected individuals have been overlooked in the past, are currently being disregarded, and will likely be ignored in the future by this administration.”
Meanwhile, the Mica Action Group will be represented on a delegation travelling to Brussels later this week to meet with the European Commission and ask it to initiate proceedings against the Irish Government for its decade long failure to implement EU regulations designed to protect against the manufacture and use of defective concrete products.