The Tánaiste has said no decision was made at Cabinet today on the issue of assisting homeowners in Donegal, Mayo and elsewhere whose houses have been damaged by mica.

Leo Varadkar said a presentation was made by Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien and the Government does appreciate it is a real difficulty for people.

He said the Government is keen to find a solution and understands what people are saying about the disparity between the mica and pyrite schemes.

But he said the average cost of fixing a mica-damaged home is much higher than the cost of fixing a pyrite-damaged home.

He added that the question has to be asked if it is reasonable to ask the taxpayer to fund the rebuilding of houses when in some cases they are quite large in size.

The Minister for Housing, meanwhile, has said any change to the terms of a scheme covering defective concrete blocks would require approval by several Government departments.

Groups in Donegal and Mayo have called for the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme to be altered, so that all repair costs will be covered.

Homeowners who have encountered problems with mica or pyrite contamination plan to stage a protest outside the Dáil next week.

They are seeking assurances that the cost of remediation works would be covered in full by the grant scheme, instead of 90% on offer at present.

The Government scheme is being administered by local authorities in Donegal and Mayo. In the last year, over 430 applications for funding have been made.

A range of five remedial options can be applied for. These range from external wall replacement up to full demolition and rebuild of impacted properties.

Minister O’Brien said limits are a feature of all grant schemes and are needed to ensure the maximum number of people can benefit.

Additional reporting Pat McGrath