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Dr Martina Cleary of The Clare Pyrite Action Group .

Clare pyrite homeowners to join ‘path-finder’ legal actions


CLARE homeowners affected by pyrite are being encouraged to explore their legal options in accessing redress, as part of a series of ‘pathfinder’ cases being taken to the High Court in the coming months.

Founder of the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG), Dr Martina Cleary confirmed she will be participating in the action, alongside several homeowners in Donegal, who are affected by mica.

“I am happy to say Clare Pyrite Action Group will have a number of pathfinder cases going forward with Coleman Legal in the New Year,” she said. “I personally have signed up to this action, as none of our local representatives have been able to secure justice for impacted homeowners in County Clare.”

Dr Cleary also confirmed that solicitor Dave Coleman will meet Clare homeowners soon to outline their options. Under Irish law, class actions are not currently permitted, hence the need to file several individual cases, as so-called ‘pathfinders’.

“In path-finder cases, the courts are asked to decide on issues of fact and law,” Mr Coleman told The Champion. “This will be a multi-party action and I would encourage people in Clare to make themselves aware of what’s happening. We will be asking the High Court to manage these cases through over a timeframe of 24 to 36 months.”

It is understood that the actions are being organised with support from the 100% Redress campaign. That group, like the CPAG, are concerned that the recently-updated Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme will leave many homeowners having to make up substantial shortfalls to remediate damage to their homes. To date, Clare has not been included in the scheme.

Defendants in these actions are likely to include manufacturers and suppliers of defective building materials.

Mr Coleman said that the firm had already received several hundred applications to join in the legal action. The number of participants is expected to reach the thousands, given the ease of signing up and the fact that those doing so are not being asked to contribute to the costs of the actions.

Mr Coleman is a specialist in group litigation and has previously represented homeowners in Leinster affected by pyrite in building materials. “More information can be sought by emailing defectiveblocks@colemanlegal.ie,” he said.

“I will be available to speak to individual homeowners in Clare early in the New Year and would urge people to find out more.”

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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