This week, Maria Rushe delves into a nightmare that's devastating thousands of families in Donegal - Mica.
“What is this MICA you keep tweeting about? Haven’t heard of this.” – a message from a Twitter/blogger pal in Dublin last week…
And so I realised that an issue that has been huge in our locality for many years has been but a grumbling growl in other parts of the country.
But in the past few weeks, the people of Donegal and indeed Mayo and Derry, have turned that growl into a thunderous roar. And that roar is only just beginning.
We have family members affected by MICA.
We have good friends living in homes that are literally crumbling down around them.
Members of our fitness community are living through stresses that those of us not directly affected, will never and can never claim to understand.
You only have to search “Mica Donegal” to see the images and videos and articles about the heartbreak being faced by our neighbours and friends.
It is unacceptable that our government has been unwilling to fully redress and help these people.
Through NO fault of their own, family homes were built and houses were bought.
Not one person affected knew that the blocks within the foundations or walls were not fit for purpose.
To even suggest that there is a molecule of blame or responsibility with the homeowners is an insult to all involved.
We must, as a community, stand up with those affected.
It could have been, and indeed, it could yet BE any of us.
Read the personal stories.
Watch the videos.
Have the conversations.
You will be amazed at just how many people you do actually know who are affected.
Share the campaign for 100% Redress.
Share the graphics and images and links and stories of the affected families and homeowners.
Whichever social media platform you are on, please take time each day to retweet or share one of the tweets or images.
Use the # micaredress in all of your posts and replies.
If you can go to Dublin on June 15th for the protest, go.
If you have contacts in media or with people who have large platforms, please urge them to show their support.
Children in our county are afraid to kick a ball against the wall of their home.
Parents are frightened that walls will fall.
Water is seeping through the very walls that were built to keep them dry.
Foundations are literally crumbling to dust below the feet of people who have worked and paid taxes in this country their whole lives.
The blocks are dust.
They are crumbling and breaking and falling down.
Mortgages are being paid on houses that will have to be tumbled and rebuilt.
People are paying rent on top of their mortgage as the home they built of bought is not safe to live in.
With construction prices rising daily, for many of the people affected, the financial ruin is incomprehensible.
This situation cannot fully be fathomed unless you are in it.
I am writing about it, yes.
I cannot fathom it.
I will never claim to understand the plight of those who do.
But I can write with anger and rage that my relatives are in bits and my friends can see nothing beyond their crumbling walls at this moment in time.
I can stand up and tell you that children should NOT be afraid that the roof is going to fall in on them.
And I can absolutely tell you that this situation COULD and CAN be fixed if our government would only bother to show some respect and compassion to the people affected.
So if you, like my friend in Dublin, genuinely hadn’t heard of this issue, tune in.
Thankfully, this past few weeks, the national media are picking up the very real issue that is destroying lives.
Hopefully, the “powers that be” can see that the grumble and growl is not going to go away.
It is only going to get louder.
We will not sit down and be quietened.
We will change the grumble into a roar and eventually, those who pretend not to hear right now, will have no choice but to listen.
(I’ve attached a series of brilliant infographics from Cathie Shiels & CATUIreland to this post below. They explain the situation much more clearly than I ever could.)
And whether you can get to Dublin on Tuesday or you are going to support online from home, let’s make so much noise that our voices are finally not just heard, but listened to.