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Panel to investigate Donegal's crumbling houses 15.07.15

AN independent panel of experts is to investigate the issue of defective blocks in Co Donegal.
The announcement was made this morning by Minister of State, Joe McHugh who said the independent panel had been sanctioned by the Minister for Housing, Paudie Coffey.
Mr Coffey saw first hand damage to properties on a visit to Inishowen earlier this year.
Hundreds of properties across the county including some Donegal County Council housing stock are affected by the problem.
Today's development has been welcomed by Mica Action Group (MAG) campaigners.
“This is a very important step in the MAG campaign for redress for affected homeowners in Donegal. In setting up a panel, the Government recognises the magnitude of the issue we are facing and is comparable with the process offered to homeowners in Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Offaly, whose homes were built with defective subfloors, more commonly referred to as the pyrite issue” said MAG chairman Phil McDaid.
While the terms of reference are yet to be established, MAG is hopeful that the issues to be addressed will include an exploration of the scale of the problem; a review of the building control system; stakeholder activity and responsibilities; research into technical solutions and recommendations.
MAG acknowledged the work of Deputy McHugh and all Donegal TDs who helped push their cause forward.
The group said they would continue to work with the Government to ensure that the independent panel is established as soon as possible. Other issues such as the Local Property Tax and the fact that some families could not get home insurance because of the problem, remained among the key areas to be addressed, said MAG.
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