The MICA situation across the entire country now appears to be a lot bigger than first anticipated with houses in counties Clare and Limerick also badly affected.
Donegal remains the worst-hit county with more than 5,000 homes across the county understood to be damaged or ruined by defective blocks.
Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will bring a proposal to Cabinet today to extend the Government’s defective block redress scheme to counties Clare and Limerick.
It is expected that ministers will also be updated on the cost of the scheme, which is expected to exceed the projected €2.2bn price tag.
Mica has the capacity to absorb water, cause concrete blocks to crumble and put entire homes at risk of collapse.
Mr O’Brien is hoping that his Cabinet colleagues will back his legislative plans to resolve the problem of redress and the Government can draw a line under what has been a long-running and bruising political saga.
At its core, the legislation will encompass recommendations from the Society of Chartered Surveyors on the square foot cost of demolishing and rebuilding Mica-affected homes, and then cap any payout.
Under the revised proposal, it is expected that an estimated 600 homes in Clare and 700 in Limerick will also be able to apply.
Mica redress campaign groups said last night that they wanted to see the detail of the legislation before commenting.
While the scheme was provisionally projected to cost €2.2bn, it is expected ministers will be told today that the revised total is €2.7bn, with the possibility, if not likelihood, that it could go higher.
Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath described the scheme as a “very significant intervention by the State”.
Mr McGrath said Government was determined to press ahead with remediation works as quickly as possible.
Mica redress campaigner Paddy Diver has said those affected “really need the Government to get it right this time”, adding that there can be “no more delays, no more false promises”.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said the Government has had plenty of time to investigate this issue and more delays “just don’t make sense”.
Mr Diver said: “I don’t see why we should be talking about delays in this here, because they’ve had plenty of time.
“They’ve always done pre-legislative scrutiny and it’s needed. You can’t ignore science. They talk about the taxpayers’ bill. Well, I’m a taxpayer. We’re all taxpayers.
“We shouldn’t be facing these bills and if we keep ignoring science, the bills are going to get higher and higher all the time.
“Because we’ve got world leading experts telling us one thing and we’ve got influential people trying to ignore it, it just doesn’t make sense.”