By Diarmaid Doherty
ONE of the first local politicians to raise the issue of mica when it first became a topic of concern says his heart goes out to those who are having to deal with the financial and personal stress that goes with having a home with defective blocks.
Cllr. Martin Farren told last week’s meeting of Donegal County Council that he remembered first raising the issue of mica back in 2012 when he said very few people knew anything about it.
“This has been going on now for 11 years,” the Moville councillor said.
“It has taken quite a considerable time to get to where we are.
“Your heart has to go out to the people who have mica in their houses.
“I was a young man once and I had a family growing up. In those days you took out a 20 year mortgage and you were rearing your kids and trying to save money for their education.”
Cllr Farren, pictured left, said life can throw up challenges for parents and sometimes it’s difficult to find the means to pay a mortgage.
“My wife has passed away, but I have a house there now and 20 years later, at least whenever my time comes there is something there to leave the family,” he said.
“My concerns are for the people who might have 30 year mortgages. They are having to pay for something that is falling around them. It’s absolutely incredible. I wouldn’t like to be in that position.”
Cllr. Farren’s comments came after a presentation was made to councillors on how the local authority is now dealing with applications under the new Enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Scheme.
Cllr Farren, along with other council members who contributed to the debate, praised the staff within Donegal County Council for the work they have put in during a very difficult time.
He added: “We will do our best as public representatives here on the council but unfortunately our hands are tied. We don’t have the clout that our TDs and Oireachtas members have.
“I’m just glad now that things appear to be moving forward and I hope that the majority of people who have mica are happy enough with this new enhanced scheme and are able to move forward on it.”