Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has called for efforts to establish how many homes in the North are impacted by mica.
It comes after a Derry family revealed their home is one of the first confirmed cases of mica on this side of the border.
Mr Eastwood expressed concern that other homes in border areas could contain the mineral and said proper redress must be provided to those affected.
Foyle MP Mr Eastwood said:
“We have all seen the devastating impact mica has caused in the South, with families left watching their homes crumble before their very eyes. The news that mica has been detected in Derry will cause concern for many homeowners and the SDLP will support the Rafferty family and anyone else affected, as we have those with homes in Donegal.
“Before we do anything else we need to establish just how many homes in the North are impacted by mica. We have seen the need for robust compensation schemes to be put in place to help people whose homes are damaged and we can only do this when we know the scale of what we’re dealing with.
“This discovery prompts many questions around what checks were put in place on both sides of the border to stop building materials containing mica travelling to the North and what steps, if any, were taken by the Executive when this crisis began unfolding in the South to identify any potential impact here. The SDLP repeatedly flagged our concerns around mica with the then Finance and Communities Ministers, with Minister Hargey confirming a small number of homes in Foyle were affected in 2018, while Minister Murphy did not accept any responsibility for dealing with the issue.
“There can be no doubt that anyone found to have mica in their homes must be properly compensated and I would urge the Irish Government to immediately begin liaising with officials in Belfast to discuss putting proper support mechanisms in place. Nobody should have to fight to keep a roof over their heads as a result of mica being discovered at their home.”