Donegal County Council's Mica Redress Committee is to meet in special session on Thursday morning after up to 200 people took part in a protest in Carndonagh yesterday.
A spokesperson for the protestors claimed that the contractors on the site at which they were protesting are sourcing blocks from a company which previously provided mica affected blocks in Inishowen and elsewhere in Donegal.
The issue is set to be raised at this afternoon's sitting of the Inishowen Municipal District also.
Cllr Martin McDermott is Chair of the Council Committee. He said he called the emergency meeting so that the executive of the council can be briefed by the members about the concerns on the ground:
Statement by Cassidy Bros, Buncrana, Co Donegal -
Cassidy Bros is gravely concerned over the personal intimidation and harassment of our workers as they go about their day to day business.
Cassidy Bros employs a large number of staff and sub-contractors in the county.
We fully recognise the genuine trauma and hardship suffered by people whose properties are affected by damage to block work. We have sincere sympathy for people facing these issues both in Donegal and in other counties such as Clare, Limerick, Sligo and Mayo.
In recent times, we have been singled out in mainstream and social media because we supplied such an overwhelming number of homes in our local area. However, it cannot be overlooked that other providers have supplied blocks that developed the same problems, both in Donegal and elsewhere in the country.
We of course recognise the right to legitimate, peaceful protest. However, in recent days a number of Cassidy Bros’ employees, sub-contractors and customers have been subjected to increasing levels of wholly unwarranted intimidation and harassment.
This campaign continues to cause severe personal distress to those delivering Cassidy Bros products and those receiving them. Such actions and their incitement on social media represent a dangerous escalation in the situation and have caused Cassidy Bros’ workers to fear for their safety and their livelihoods. We would appeal for all such intimidation and harassment of our workers and customers to cease.
We wholeheartedly backed homeowners in their calls for the implementation of an appropriate Government remediation scheme to repair damaged homes. We will continue to back the drive for full redress.
Cassidy Bros is a local, family-owned and run business which has been a proud part of the north Donegal community for generations. These issues were never envisaged by Cassidy Bros or indeed other block manufacturers in the various areas of Ireland which are experiencing an increasing number of similar problems.
Cassidy Bros is satisfied that it has always supplied concrete blocks that met with national product standards and complied fully with all national building regulations.
The potential for these problems to arise was never reflected in the Government’s regulatory standards on masonry blocks until relevant changes were made in 2013 to increase block strength requirements and eliminate similar issues arising in future. The Government has indicated its responsibility for addressing failures in previous standards in launching the current redress scheme.
We would like to thank our many customers who have stood by us during this difficult time and thank them for their continuing support.