The largest international conference on Defective Concrete will be held in Letterkenny this month.
Government representatives from the Department of Housing and the Housing Agency have been added to the list of speakers for this major event.
The conference will hear from a large number of people involved in or tasked with finding a solution to the defective blocks crisis.
The conference will be held in the Clanree Hotel Letterkenny on Tuesday, November 15th (1.30pm – 10pm) and is being co-hosted by Ulster University, ATU and MEP Luke “Ming” Flanagan of The LEFT in the European Parliament.
Attendees will be given an update on the Enhanced Grant Scheme for Defective Blocks in Ireland from John O’Connor, who is appointed by Minister of Housing, Darragh O’Brien, as Homeowner Liaison.
There will also be a round table discussion including members of the Mica Action Group, affected homeowners and Cllr Martin McDermott, Chair of Defective Blocks Steering Committee, Donegal County Council.
The organising committee for this initiative includes Professor Paul Dunlop (Research Director for Geography and Environmental Sciences, Ulster University), Dr Eileen Doherty (Lecturer in Digital Transformation, Ulster University) and Joseph Morgan (Director of Engineering, Druva), all of whom have been actively involved in researching various aspects of this important societal issue.
This conference will see leading international experts in geology, earth sciences and engineering who research the impacts of deleterious minerals on concrete from Canada, the USA, Switzerland, Norway and Ireland travel to Donegal to speak about their own research insights into defective concrete as well as learn more about the defective blocks issue in Ireland.
Tickets are free of charge and available to reserve at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-science-societal-impacts-of-defective-concrete-tickets-443321886697
The day following the conference on Wednesday November 16th, will involve a field trip where members of the international delegation will visit affected homes in Donegal to view first-hand the impact of concrete failure.
On Day three, Thursday November 17th, the research team will gather for a workshop at the Magee campus of Ulster University to strengthen research networks and develop future research plans.
Professor Paul Dunlop, member of the organising committee said: “This joint research collaboration between Ulster University and ATU is the best opportunity to date for anyone who is interested in learning more about the causes and impacts of defective concrete from leading international scientists who are at the forefront of investigating why concrete fails.”
“Impacted homeowners and others interested in enhancing their understanding of this issue are invited to attend this event and to hear first-hand about cutting edge research that is being undertaken internationally on this issue in Ireland, other European countries and in North American. It will be the first time that such an eminent team of international experts will be gathered in Ireland to view the impacts that deleterious geological minerals are having on local communities and to network to discuss and develop new research ideas on how to tackle this crisis from various viewpoints and to share knowledge and best practice with local and national authorities ”.
Dr Eileen Doherty, member of the organising committee said “We are delighted to announce this international conference on ‘mica’/defective blocks. This EU funded initiative will further our understanding through harnessing both international and regional/national research expertise which ultimately we hope will inform policy on the issue. It is critical to expand our understanding of this issue on the wider society for example how is it impacting businesses, the mental health impact on families and the wider societal impact of the crisis.”
Joseph Morgan, member of the organising committee said “The conference offers the opportunity to understand EU Legislation which touches on construction industry & Human Rights regulation which is applicable to the defective block crisis in Ireland”.