The defective block crisis that's causing Ireland's homes to crumble

A high profile defective block campaigner in Donegal has been forced to demolish his family home near Carndonagh.

A problem that has effected thousands of households across Ireland.

Paddy Diver says despite the destruction of his family home, he’s one of the luckier householders affected as thousands more can’t afford to rebuild their homes due to problems with the Irish Government redress scheme.

He continued, "It's heartbreaking, our houses are deteriorating here but so is the insides of our heart, our mental health.

Our anxiety levels are going through the roof, the depression is going through the roof."

What's happening is widely known as the Mica crisis, but new research strongly suggests that pyrite is the mineral causing the damage to the houses.

Mica and pyrite are minerals found in the ground and in rocks that are excavated from quarries and used in building blocks.

If too much is used, these minerals cause defects in building blocks which lead to crumbling and eventually cause the defective blocks to crack.

Some blocks tested have had nine times the recommended pyrite levels.

Professor Paul Dunlop from Ulster University and also an affected homeowner presented this research to an international conference in Canada.

"Looking around my community, seeing the devastation that was caused, it was a natural thing for me to step up and do because it was something that I could sort of give back to the community to try and understand what's happening."

The Irish government did introduce a multibillion euro redress scheme, but campaigners say it isn't fit for purpose.

They claim it's difficult to access and doesn't meet the full cost of rebuilds needed.

Ali Farran from the 100% Redress Party has taken a political path.

He is lobbying for a better scheme, 100% redress and to bring the communities put back together again.

However, the Irish government says the enhanced grant scheme has over 2000 applications, but so far there have been fewer than 50 rebuilds.

And with more than 7000 homes affected, this is a crisis with no end in sight.

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