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The home of Dan Moloney and his family in Kilkishen which has tested positive for pyrite.

Anger as more pyrite proof sought

State accused of ‘stalling tactics’ by Clare advocate

“A LITANY of broken promises” has been condemned by the founder of the Clare Pyrite Action Group, after confirmation of further delays in access to the defective blocks scheme.
Dr Martina Cleary said that more than 100 homeowners in Clare will now have no option but to take legal action and engage in further protests.
Despite assurances from the Housing Minister on August 27, that a decision on extending the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme would be made “within weeks”, the process has become protracted.
After raising queries with the council about the cost of a technical report it submitted in July, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) has now sought further technical data. This added hitch has sparked anger, with Dr Cleary accusing the Department of “stalling tactics”.
“The Department is now looking for additional test data and it’s clearly a delaying strategy,” she told The Champion.
“I was told that everything required had been submitted by the council in July. The required Suite A and B tests, of outer and inner walls, were done. Now, we’re hearing of the need for a Suite C. This is something completely new.
“Why are they looking for an added level of testing for houses that they know there is pyrite in? We’ve had a litany of broken promises and pretence.
“The Department is now changing the goalposts for access to the grant scheme. This is the same tactic that was used to deny access to the scheme for 19 homes in Mayo over the summer. This is clear obstruction from the Department, with no explanation forthcoming.”
The Crusheen woman, who started the action group in the autumn of 2020, said members were now advised to consider their legal options.
“Ten test cases are being taken and I would encourage anyone who has pyrite to take a look at what’s happening with those,” she said.
“We have been polite and waited patiently so far, but we will be out protesting again. We are being discriminated against by being left in houses that are falling down around us. They longer we wait, the worse our homes are getting. We have one member in a house close to critical collapse.”
Dr Cleary said all of the evidence seemed to suggest that the revised blocks scheme would be less satisfactory than the existing scheme covering Donegal and Mayo.
“There’s talk that only outer walls will be addressed and inner walls left,” she said.
“Are we going to be dragged along for the rest of our lives in houses that are cracking up?”
Clare County Council has confirmed that: “A clarification on the initial report was sought by the DHLGH, the nature of the clarification relates to further technical analysis of the impact of the presence of pyrite on the structure of the property.
“The clarification report will be submitted to the DHLGH on receipt from the Consultant and the Council will continue to liaise with the DHLGH and Clare Pyrite Action Group.”
Meanwhile, Dan Moloney from Kilksihen, whose home is among those severely damaged by pyrite, told The Champion that the recent cold snap has caused huge concern.
“As soon as the cold comes, more cracks begin,” he said. “As well as my own house, there are an awful lot of homes affected in the areas around Kilkishen, Sixmilebridge and Bunratty. People are afraid to speak up. They’re afraid to face the problem and they need help.”
Mr Moloney also questioned why county councillors are not discussing the issue: “I can’t understand why this isn’t being spoken about in the chamber of Clare County Council. We have to have our public representatives fighting for us and keeping the spotlight on this.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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