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Councillor Ian Lynch has called for support for homeowners with pyrite in their foundations.

Call for grant support to tackle pyrite in home foundations

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A CALL has been made for measures to support homeowners who have pyrite in their foundations, as well as in their blocks. 

While Clare is to be included, in the coming months, in a grant scheme to remediate block work, this does not cover foundations. At the January meeting of the local authority, Councillor Ian Lynch called for the inclusion of Clare in the Pyrite Remediation Scheme, set up ten years ago to address pyrite in under-floors and foundations.

The West Clare member also called for the removal of the controversial ‘damage threshold’ that homes will be required to meet before being able to access grant funding. 

“I think that any house that has been identified as having pyrite and defective concrete blocks shouldn’t be subject to a damage threshold,” Councillor Lynch told the meeting.

“What’s the point trying to fix the concrete blocks and the outside, and then waiting three or four years and finding that the household has to disturbed again? I think that any house that has been identified as having pyrite should be automatically included in the scheme.”

The Kilrush man also appealed for grant support to address defective foundations. “We have identified that pyrite affects blocks and aggregate under-floor,” he said.

“So therefore it’s only logical to fix foundations but there’s no scheme there for the house to be remediated at the foundations. I’m asking what’s the point in taking down a house and rebuilding on existing foundations or taking down just the outside block? I’d ask that the minister would have a scheme in place to deal with foundations as well for those with defective concrete blocks.”

The motion was seconded by Councillor Donna McGettigan. “I think when you look at the Clare pyrite damage, it’s visibly different to what mica is doing in Donegal,” she said.

“It might have taken the pyrite houses here in Clare decades to deteriorate to the state that are in now. So you could have a house that has pyrite and you’re going to have to rebuild on top, sure it’s going to fall down again anyway, so I fully support and second this motion.”

Councillor Joe Cooney also spoke in support of the motion, describing it as  “timely and important “. “When you’re doing the job, you have to do it right, and not half do it,” he said.  

Councillor Johnny Flynn, thanks Joe described pyrite as “a hugely important issue for the households that have been affected by it”. He said he believed there was unanimous support the motion. 

Cathaoirleach, Councillor Tony O’Brien voiced his support for the motion and asked Chief Executive to comment. Mr Pat Dowling said a submission had been drawn up by the Council on the new defective blocks grant scheme. “We’ll bear this motion in mind as part of that as well, to ensure that the views of the Council are reflected in that submission,” he said.

Summing up, Councillor Lynch said he acknowledged the work done by the Council on the matter. “I know a submission has gone in or is going on the current Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme and you might update the Council at some stage of the submission made from Clare County Council, so we’re aware of what is put in,” he said. 

In June of last year, the Housing Minister announced the extension to Clare of the new grant scheme for those with defective blocks. Correspondence to Oireachtas members suggests that Clare homeowners will be able to make applications to the revised grant scheme before the end of the first quarter of this year. 

Fiona McGarry
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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 The University of 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.

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 The University of 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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