Donegal beauty queen Layla Doherty has opened up about the fears and struggles of living in a defective concrete block home.
Layla, from Ballyliffin, is among the thousands of people in Donegal impacted by the crisis.
As she prepares to represent Ireland on the world stage, 21-year-old student and model will also highlight what is happening in her home community.
Layla will travel to Vietnam at the end of the year to compete in the Miss Earth pageant. She was crowned the Irish winner in May. At the time, she decided to use her platform in the environmental-focused pageant to speak out about her own home and the many houses in her area that are crumbling.
Layla told her social media followers this week: “I live in a mica house and It’s unsafe, stressful, and scary to say the least.
“When I was asked what is something in my day to day life that helps the environment I instantly thought on the mica scandal. A massive proportion of these houses will be demolished and I thought on how people are salvaging as many materials as they can to reuse again.”
Layla says her home of Ballyliffin is an “absolutely class wee village” but that Inishowen and the mica crisis are often neglected in the media.
There are huge lessons to be learned from the redress and remediation process, she said.
“It’s important we don’t go backwards when construction does begin, problems such as waste management on site, sustainable materials and eco friendly building techniques are all topics I hope to educate on as my time as Miss Earth Ireland 2023.”
Layla adds: “In the years to come, hopefully if all goes well, there will be a great amount of construction here in Donegal, creating more jobs, improving mental health, boosting tourism and restoring our beautiful scenery.”
Layla says she will continue to highlight the crisis on the road to the international stage, and expressed her goal to make Inishowen proud.