Update – Council seeking two extra Mica Redress staff

Donegal County Council’s Mica Redress Committee has been told the council has contacted the department seeking funding to appoint two additional staff members to work as Liaison Officers, and provide back up to the existing staff.

Director of Services Joe Peoples also said discussions are underway in a bid to streamline planning issues, and confirmed a second legal opinion has been sought on a number of issues, including the implications of any enforcement investigations which are or may be taken in respect of the issue.

This afternoon’s meeting began with a lengthy intervention from Cllr Frank McBrearty, during which he called on the Chair of the committee Cllr Martin McDermott to step down.

Cllr McBrearty made a number of allegations, and questioned whether this is is being dealt with in a transparent manner. He was particularly critical of the Taoiseach’s visit to the county yesterday, saying the Taoiseach was in his area, and it is wrong that as a local councillor, he was not told.

Cllr McBrearty questioned some of the technical information given, and said he would be initiating legal action on the issue.

A number of other members supported his assertion that it will be very difficult to declare any house Mica free after remedial action is taken, particularly if only the outer leaf has been done.

They said this highlights the importance of securing a state guarantee to back up any work which has been done.

Earlier, the council was told that a total of 354 applications have been received under the Defective Blocks Scheme, 225 of which have been approved.

Further information is being sought in relation to 82 applications, while extra information which has been received is being examined in 47 cases.

A total of €1.8 million has been approved to date, with payments of just over €838,000 being made.