Purchasing of houses by Council may be halted until Mica crisis resolved

A senior Donegal County Council official says the council may have to stop purchasing houses until the mica crisis has been resolved.

Joe Peoples was speaking after it was confirmed that five houses in Buncrana which were initially leased, and subsequently bought by the authority do have mica.

A report was presented to members shortly before yesterday's reconvened meeting began.

A number of members asked at what point the authority knew there was mica in the five houses, with Cllr Frank McBrearty asking a number of questions, and calling for a full investigation. He also raised concerns at the fact that members were presented with a 32 page document half an hour before the meeting, saying that wasn't enough time to properly read the material.

He asked at what point the document was ready, and why it wasn't circulated sooner.

Director of Services Joe Peoples said the fact that mica was subsequently detected after these houses were purchased was a matter of serious concern, and cast a doubt on whether or not the authority could buy houses in this manner until the mica crisis is resolved.

The meeting subsequently went into private session to consider legal advice pertaining to the purchase of the five houses in Buncrana, and what scope the council has to decide not to use certain suppliers of blocks and concrete products.

We understand the meeting adjourned without the agenda being completed, with a number of the issues set to be raised at a meeting of the Housing Strategic Policy Committee later this week.