Donegal County Council Mica Redress Committee meeting this afternoon

Donegal County Council, County House, Lifford

A senior Donegal County Council official has acknowledged that people may be reluctant to move to the next stage of the Mica Redress Scheme because they believe there is a prospect of the scheme being changed.

Director of Housing Joe Peoples also suggested that the committee would be the appropriate vehicle for deputations and meeting with Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien.

On the issue of applications, Mr Peoples said two new staff members have been working on the scheme, and progress is being made. He said a significant number of applications have progressed through Stage One, and a small number to Stage Two.

He said uncertainty over potential changes is possibly having an effect.

On last night's meeting involving Minster O'Brien, Donegal Oireachtas members, the Mica Action Group and Cllr's Rena Donaghey and Martin Mc Dermott, Cllr Albert Doherty said it's to be welcomed that a meeting took place, but it is regrettable that there were no officials present.

Cllr Doherty endorsed the suggestion that the committee be the vehicle of communication with the minister, and proposed an early meeting be sought.

Backing that, Cllr Liam Blaney suggested there should be a statement issued by the council outlining the application and assessment process in detail. He said in many cases, the council is being blamed for delays which are not its fault.

He said all applications should be processed within four weeks.

With regards to questions raised at the last meeting regarding procurement, legal advice was circulated to members ahead of this afternoon's meeting which has not, as of yet, been published.

Cllr Frank McBrearty said the scheme is unworkable, and suggested that the council reject the scheme in its current form and demand a new scheme which encompasses all the counties that have Mica, which he claimed include Sligo and counties across the border.

He also claimed that some cases have been settled by the state, and called on the government to make a statement on that.

Repeating his call for a public enquiry, Cllr McBrearty urged opposition parties to move a motion in the Dail calling for such a probe.