A key Mica campaigner in Donegal says she believes a conference in Letterkenny in November could prove a crucial step towards a just and lasting conclusion to the bad block scandal in Donegal.
A number of scientific and technical experts will be at ATU Donegal for the conference on 15 November, the first in a series of three-day events organized as part of a joint research initiative involving the ATU and the University of Ulster.
Dr. Eileen Doherty, herself a lecturer at UU, says that as people better understand the scale of the crisis, it’s critical that everyone involved knows what landlords are facing…… ………
Full release –
ATU AND UU JOIN FORCES TO HOST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON “MICA”/DEFECTIVE BLOCKS
Atlantic Technological University (ATU) and Ulster University (UU) with support from the EU – in particular the office of MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanaghan, will host an international conference on “mica”/defective concrete blocks on Tuesday, November 15e from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the ATU campus in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. This conference will be the first day of a 3-day research-focused event that will see leading international experts in geology, earth sciences and engineering who study the impacts of harmful minerals on concrete from Canada, the United States United, Switzerland and Norway travel to the Northwest. to talk about their own research as well as to learn more about the problem of bad blocks in Ireland. Other researchers from a wide range of disciplines, including business, psychology, sociology, and communications, etc. will also present their research proposal examining the broader societal impact of “mica”.
The organizing committee for this initiative includes Professor Paul Dunlop (Research Director for Geography and Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster), Dr Eileen Doherty (Lecturer in Digital Transformation, University of Ulster) and Joseph Morgan (Engineering Director, Druva), all of whom have been actively involved in research on various aspects of this important issue.
The conference will include a number of key sessions. First, there will be a session on the science of deleterious geological minerals and their destructive impacts on concrete. Delegates will present research on this issue from various parts of the world, including the latest findings on the causes of concrete failure in defective blocks of houses in Ireland. Organizing committee member Professor Paul Dunlop said:
“This joint research collaboration between the University of Ulster and ATU is the best opportunity yet for anyone interested in learning more about the causes and impacts of defective concrete from leading international scientists who are at the pioneering investigation into why concrete fails. Concerned homeowners and others wishing to deepen their understanding of this issue are invited to attend this event and experience first-hand the cutting-edge research being conducted internationally on this issue in Ireland, other European countries and North America. This will be the first time that such a distinguished team of international experts will meet in Ireland to observe the impacts that geological minerals have on local communities and to network to discuss and develop new research ideas on how to address this crisis from diverse perspectives and to share knowledge and best practices with local and national authorities”.
There will also be a multi-disciplinary session that will bring together landlords, community development groups and researchers from multiple disciplines, including business, psychology and sociology, to present their ideas on improving our understanding of broader societal impacts. of this crisis within the affected communities. . Organizing Committee member Dr Eileen Doherty said:
“We are delighted to announce this international conference on ‘mica’/bad blocks. This EU-funded initiative will deepen our understanding by harnessing both international and regional/national research expertise which we hope will inform policy on the issue. It is essential to broaden our understanding of this problem to society at large, for example its impact on businesses, the impact on the mental health of families and the wider societal impact of the crisis.
Importantly, there will also be a session exploring the research and application of EU legislation relating to this issue. The focus will be on reviewing EU legislation relating to the manufacture of construction products, potential human rights violations and awaiting further proposed research on similar cases dealt with the institutions of the EU. Joseph Morgan, member of the organizing committee said:
“The conference provides an opportunity to understand EU legislation that affects the construction industry and human rights regulations that apply to the bad block crisis in Ireland.”
The day following the conference, Wednesday 16 November, will include a field trip where members of the international delegation will visit affected homes in Donegal to see first hand the impact of the concrete breaking. The third day, Thursday, November 17ethe research team will meet for a workshop at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus to strengthen research networks and develop future research plans.