Families reveal heartbreak of watching their homes crumble

A Killygordon man whose home is riddled with mica says he lies awake at night terrified the house will collapse on his children.
Barry Moore was among a number of speakers to address a protest march in Lifford on Saturday.
He talked of building his dream home for his wife Aisling and their two children only to see it falling apart in front of him.
He revealed how his young daughter Niamh was recently cycling around their home when a lump of concrete fell from a height and missed her by the narrowest of margins.
“It literally missed her by a foot,” Mr Moore said.
“How has this affected me? I used to be the relaxed optimist, Aisling was the worrier who lost sleep over her worries, my worries, everyone’s worries, I just slept. Mica has changed me as a person, I now can’t sleep before 3am. I worry about what is going to become of us. Where we will end up? Who will help us? Will one of us get seriously hurt? Will the house fall on our kids at night when we are sleeping?”
Also on the podium was Kathleen Bryant who owns a house in Ramelton. Like Mr Moore she spoke of the worry and stress she lives with everyday as a result of her disintegrating home.
Ms Bryant said her woes started with a tiny hairline crack in the fabric of her property. She said mica had turned her into a “keyboard warrior”, something she never was before.
“I come across as if I’m angry but behind it all I’m sat there crying,” she said.
But Ms Bryant added that she was angry – angry at the way mica homeowners have been treated by the government.
“I’m angry and all of you should be angry. This is our right, we shouldn’t have to pay for our homes a second time. I don’t care if you are in a one bed studio apartment or a mansion, we worked for it, we paid for it, it’s our taxes. I’m so angry.”
Paddy Diver spoke briefly to say that the mica campaign has come a long way but that there is still work to be done.
He said that often marches are defined in terms of numbers. But he added that those gathered in Lifford were not numbers but people – “real people with real lives, salt of the earth Irish people”.
“We have done nothing wrong here. We have the right to feel safe in our homes with no stress and to get 100 per-cent, no less.
“I hope this is last time we have to go on stage, I hope there is no Dublin protest after this,” he said, referring to a possible return to the capital unless the demands are met.
Michael Doherty, a long time member of the Mica Action Group said September was a key month in the battle for compensation.
He spoke of the ‘three pillars’ of the campaign – 100 per-cent redress, a 40 year State-backed guarantee and that no homes, regardless of status, be excluded.
“We have a massive responsibility because we believe we have 5,000 to 7,000 homeowners in Donegal alone depending on us,” Mr Doherty said.
“But we also have Mayo, Sligo, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary all just at an earlier stage than we are at. And they are no different to us in Donegal because it took a long time for us to waken up.
“This is brilliant and this is where the game needs to be at. The other counties will be looking on and knowing what they have to step up to.
“We have a massive month this month and it is spilt milk come October. This is when it matters, the game is there to be played, the ball is on the pitch and we either do a hell of a job now over this month or we walk away. And there is no way we are walking away,” Mr Doherty added.
Saturday’s protest finished with a round of applause for late Councillor Bernard McGuinness. An ardent support of the campaign for full redress, Mr McGuinness passed away last month.

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