Mica homeowners lodge first claim in the High Court

MALIN based William and Grainne O’Doherty yesterday saw a major milestone achieved in their battle for justice to have those responsible for their crumbling home, built with defective materials, made to answer.

In what may well become Ireland’s largest class action type case, a Statement of Claim was lodged with the High Court on Tuesday seeking to hold Cassidy Brothers Concrete Products Ltd, Donegal County Council and the National Standards Authority of Ireland responsible for what has happened.

The case is being funded by not-for-profit Defective Blocks Ireland set up by local men Adrian Sheridan and Sean Hegarty.


Coleman Legal Solicitors of Dublin who are leading the case now have 1,500 owners of defective homes signed up and ready to follow the O’Dohertys to the High Court in their quest for justice.

Speaking to the Donegal News on Tuesday evening after their statement of Claim was lodged in the High Court, Grainne and William O’Doherty said despite the stresses and strains they have faced and may face, they are determined to forge ahead and are not daunted by the prospect of fighting a High Court battle.

“We did nothing wrong. We purchased the blocks to build our home that were supposed to be 100 per cent fit for purpose. There were public bodies in place who were meant to ensure that was the case and they failed in their jobs.

“We knew all along we needed to be strong and resilient from the lack of movement from government and the council and then a redress scheme which is now being renamed a grant. We felt the powers that be were stringing us out in the hope that we would just give up and go away. The leaders of our country are not leading us,” the couple said.

The statement of claim against the three named defendants cite 109 alleged breaches of regulations; 35 alleged breaches by Donegal County Council including failure to monitor quarries and their products; 30 alleged breaches by the NSAI failing to regulate standards including allowing products into the market place which should not have been there.

In the statement of claim relating to products purchased from Cassidys the O’Dohertys state at point 8: The blocks used in the construction of the plaintiff’s home bore an EC marking and the blocks provided for the 2017 remedial work carried a CE marking.

Cassidys completed attestations/declarations of conformity and declarations of performance in respect of the said products. Cassidys further had NSAI certification in terms of, inter alia, it aggregate, concrete block and ready mixed concrete products”.


In their list of alleged failures by Donegal County Council the claim states at point 13a: “To ensurer that non-conforming products provided by Cassidys including concrete blocks and aggregates, mortar and render, unbound mixtures and bituminous mixtures were removed from circulation and/or to suspend the supply of potentially non-conforming products pending results of investigations”.

In their claim against the NSAI at clauses 21 a and b it states: “In exercising its decision making power, the NSAI were under a duty to make any and all assessments and verifications.

In conclusion the 27 page statement of claim states “the plaintiffs intend to offer expert evidence at the hearing of the action” in support of the pleas set out in the claim document and reserve the right to furnish further details.

They are seeking damages for alleged breach of contract, negligence and breach of duty including statutory duty. It is now up to the three named defendants to respond to the statement of claims.

Backing from Dubai

Inishowen born Dubai based businessman Adrian Sheridan who is part financing the High Court case said his reasoning for doing so is because he has seen first-hand the devastation the defective building materials has caused in his home area, in people he knows who bought the products in good faith.

“They were built with blocks which had little certification or light touch regulation or no regulation in some places at all,” he said.

“We have spent last year going through this with international experts, lawyers, barristers and senior counsel to develop the statement of claims. It is based on international experts opinions.

“Their opinion is that the three defendants have approximately one hundred breaches of either EU laws, acts or regulations for things they did or neglected to do,” he added.

Mr Sheridan also noted that the bulk of those included in the 1,500 people who have launched writs with Coleman Legal to claim the shortfall of payment are primary homeowners.

However, he stressed there are also many more who have not yet become part of the action including business owners and holiday home owners whose properties also have MICA.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland