MAG's amazing 'mica journey'
THE Mica Action Group (MAG)
is a voluntary group that was formed in early 2014
by individuals whose own homes were cracking due to
defective blocks. The objective of the group was to
seek redress for homeowners affected by this issue.
The group engaged with government on a local and
national level to determine the exact scale and the
cause of the problem in Donegal.
Today, following years of lobbying for a Mica
Redress Scheme, Ann Owens (Chair), Eileen Doherty
(PRO), Noel Noone and Joe Morgan have announced that
they will step down from their positions within MAG
with immediate effect.
A selection of photos showing the
amazing 'mica journey' of MAG over the years.
Ann Owens Chair of MAG
said: “I have made this decision to step down as
this Mica scheme finally moves across the line and
into the hands of Donegal County Council. However,
it is important to say that MAG will continue to
work on behalf of affected homeowners.
“This has been an amazing journey, from sitting
around my kitchen table almost 9 years ago to having
a multi-million euro redress scheme signed off and
shining a light on the need for effective governance
within the construction industry in Ireland.
“On our ‘mica journey’ it became obvious that
homeowners, whose homes were built using defective
blocks were not protected by law; their homes
falling down, deemed worthless, their insurance
reneged, while the block supplier and agencies like
Homebond just walked away. It became apparent that
block manufacturers were allowed to operate without
appropriate insurance and homeowners were left with
few if any options.
“I personally am so proud to have been involved with
a small lobby group (who have no political
affiliations and no experience of lobbying) who took
on an issue of this magnitude, driven only by a
sense of pure injustice.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all
of my colleagues in MAG, past and present. The
blending of skills, commitment and tenacity was key
to the success of MAG. A number of the MAG
committee; Eileen Doherty, Noel Noone and Joe Morgan
have also decided to step down at this time. Noel
was instrumental in enabling effective
communications with our members since he joined. His
expertise and total dedication elevated MAG’s
ability to communicate with our members over social
media platforms and in capturing the data of those
who registered. Joe, whilst a relatively recent MAG
recruit has been working independently on this issue
for a number of years. His persistence with the
banks has enabled homeowners to engage with their
respective lender and has opened up the scheme for
many homeowners who would otherwise have struggled
to gain access to the required finance. I must
however, single out our PRO – Eileen Doherty for
special mention. Her input over the years has been a
game changer in every regard.
“MAG will continue to play a very important role in
their participation in the Mica Steering Committee
at Donegal County Council and will continue to
ensure the voice of the people can be heard in this
forum to ensure the best outcome possible for all
affected families. Eamonn Jackson – who has been
with MAG since 2013, will take over as Chair. Eamonn
brings almost 7 years of experience to this role and
I have full confidence that he will be an excellent
Eileen Doherty PRO MAG said: “I have made this
decision to step down as I would like to dedicate my
energy to my young family and to getting my own home
fixed in the coming months. My family have been on
this journey with me for the last 6.5 years. In
particular my partner Shane and my dad Philip
(Junior) have shared the many highs and lows of the
journey with me and I am eternally grateful for
their support. In 2014 my two daughters travelled
the length and breadth of Inishowen dropping
leaflets to the homes of affected estates and have
had to put up with the many hundreds of phone calls,
messages and meetings over the years. They have
almost become experts at spotting a ‘mica home’ and
frequently point them out to me as we drive around.
I am really looking forward to spending more quality
time with them and to getting our own home fixed.
“I am confident that Donegal County Council with
input from MAG have the appropriate personnel and
processes in place to very effectively oversee the
rollout of this scheme across the county.
“I often wonder if we, as a small grassroots lobby
group from Donegal, had considered at the outset the
feat we were taking on – to achieve in the region of
hundreds of millions of Euro and maybe even more for
affected homeowners, if we would have even conceived
“The journey for us personally has evidenced every
emotion – frustration, devastation, anger and
exhilaration. There have been so many people in all
walks of life who we have met during this journey
who have given us the strength and motivation to
continue – in particular the many affected families
who have shown huge strength and resilience
throughout this journey - who ultimately kept us
going even when the fight may have seemed seemed
fruitless. We will be forever grateful to them for
their patience and trust in us."
Eileen continued: “Finally, like a lot of affected
homeowners, now that the scheme is across the line,
it does beg the question as to how this was allowed
to happen in the first place? How did we find
ourselves in a position where we had to engage in
this colossal fight to get our homes fixed through
‘no fault of our own’? How is it that the main
supplier of the blocks has managed to walk away
‘scot free’ with minimal implications for them or
their business? How can this be allowed to happen?
In a word, it should not!
“As such, we call for a full public enquiry into
this disaster. This must never be allowed to happen
again and in order for this to be the case, we need
to better understand the circumstances which allowed
it to happen in the first place. The seeking of such
an enquiry will be a key strategy for MAG going