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'Rubble' Kin star weeps as he reveals devastation caused by Mica blocks to friends' homes

"I know a friend of mine, his house is tossed down and is now lying in rubble and he has still eight years of a mortgage to pay on that"

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Keith in Kin

Keith in Kin

Keith in Kin

KIN actor Keith McErlean broke down in tears last night when he spoke of the devastating consequences of Mica on homes owned by his friends and family and others in his home county of Donegal.

Keith, who plays Eamon Cunningham's sidekick Con Doyle in the hit crime series and whose character has several show-stealing scenes tonight, recently took part in an information documentary he filmed in which he got to meet victims of the destructive building material.

"I know a friend of mine, his house is tossed down and is now lying in rubble and he has still eight years of a mortgage to pay on that," he storms. "It's extraordinary stuff. I hope these people get everything they deserve, it's not their fault and they need help badly.

Thousands of people affected by the disastrous constructions marched through Dublin on Friday to try and persuade the Government to give them 100% redress.

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People take part in the protest in Dublin city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)

People take part in the protest in Dublin city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)

People take part in the protest in Dublin city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)

"I'm not directly affected by Mica, no, but I know many, many people that are," adds Keith, who first found fame as Barry on Bachelor's Walk.

"Friends, family, people I grew up with. It's an extraordinary tragedy up here in Donegal, it's desperately sad. I've seen it first-hand, witnessed it first-hand and it's going to go on for many, many years to come.

"I hope the Government do the right thing and give these people 100% of this redress and the money they require to build these buildings. I find it very difficult, its desperately sad.

"We were involved in something recently and I had to go and interview some of the families. It's excruciatingly difficult on these families and their children particularly who are just devastated and traumatised and they will be for the rest of their days."

He became tearful talking of the destruction.

"Their houses are literally falling down," he cried. "It's more of an infomercial to try and get the message out and we were approaching it from the mental health side of things, so it was a very specific brief that we had and that we did.

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Demonstrators on O’Connell Street, Dublin take part in the protest in support of Mica home owners whose properties are crumbling due to defective blocks containing excessive deposits of the mineral Mica and demand that the Government improve a redress scheme to provide 100% of the rebuild and repair costs (Brian Lawless/PA)

Demonstrators on O’Connell Street, Dublin take part in the protest in support of Mica home owners whose properties are crumbling due to defective blocks containing excessive deposits of the mineral Mica and demand that the Government improve a redress scheme to provide 100% of the rebuild and repair costs (Brian Lawless/PA)

Demonstrators on O’Connell Street, Dublin take part in the protest in support of Mica home owners whose properties are crumbling due to defective blocks containing excessive deposits of the mineral Mica and demand that the Government improve a redress scheme to provide 100% of the rebuild and repair costs (Brian Lawless/PA)

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"It was just an angle. A lot of the Mica videos you will press 'play' and its somebody standing in from of their own crumbling house, shouting, extremely angry. That's hard to watch, 40 of those

"So, we took a different approach. I find it quite hard to talk about…we approached it from a mental health aspect and I think we have yet to see the effects of that, completely People are in a very bad way up here.

"I find it quite difficulty to talk about that actually, but I hope they get what they need and what they want."

He stresses that if there is not 100% redress then there will be severe consequences.

"The Government has to give them 100% or we are in for an unbelievable tragedy over the next couple of decades in this country," he predicts.

"It's not just talking about houses. They are talking about 5,000 houses, but it looks like 15,000 potentially and more and then it's all the municipal buildings, hospitals, public buildings, theatres, schools, they all have to be tossed down."

"It's extraordinary up here, in Inishowen where I live in particular... You drive around, I drive out to the beach most days. It's trying to find the house that doesn't have Mica, it's unreal.

"I don't really know what's going to happen, but if they don't get their 100% redress, we have a lot more tragedy to come."

Keith has only moved back to Donegal recently, having spent several years living abroad.

"When I lived here I couldn't wait to get out of the place, I was 20 years old," he says. "But it's beautiful and you learn to appreciate it later in life. It's a stunningly beautiful place and it's one place where I am truly happy and calm."

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