Home » Breaking News » Demand for accountability from manufacturers
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Deputy Darragh O'Brien speaks with people affected by Pyrite in their homes during his visit to the home of Mary and Seamus Hanley of Drumline, Newmarket on Fergus. Photograph by John Kelly

Demand for accountability from manufacturers

THE Minister for Housing took the opportunity, while visiting Clare, to reaffirm his commitment to pursuing those responsible for supplying defective building materials.
At the home of Mary and Séamus Hanley in Drumline, several members of the Clare Pyrite Action Committee were present to hear what Minister Darragh O’Brien had to say.
In the garden of the retired couple’s home, some members of the action group took the opportunity to question the minister directly.
“The main culprits in all of this, of course, are the manufacturers of the blocks,” one Newmarket-on-Fergus man told the minister.
“These are some of the biggest companies in Ireland, making massive profits. The Taoiseach made a statement a couple of weeks ago that he is going to speak to the Attorney General in relation to going after these companies, can you give us an update on that please?”
In response, the minister said: “I made that statement too. Because if you look at the legislation that goes right back to 2012 … it does give the State the ability to go back and seek recompense, and to be able to get compensation from those who are responsible, and we’re pursuing that. I haven’t got the report back from the Attorney General.
“The first Bill that I produced on pyrite was about this very thing. [It was] about extending the Statute of Limitations so we can actually go back and seek recompense.
“In a couple of instances, builders have remediated themselves. I know of schemes where that’s been done.
“But I’m not going to leave any stone unturned to see if we can get right.
“I’m determined to pursue any legal avenue I have to take on those that are responsible.”
A Sixmilebridge homeowner, whose property is severely affected by pyrite, sought an assurance that quality control on building materials has improved and that any future remediation works will be fit-for-purpose.
“How can we be certain that blocks that are coming out of these places now are okay?” he asked.
The minister replied that while his department is pursuing issues around accountability and regulation of the industry, the priority is to improve access to the grant scheme.
“We’ve other statutory instruments that are in place there, in relation to the blocks that are coming out now and there’s a better inspection regime there as well,” the minister said.
“We’re finding houses … that have only now start to present with issues 30 years later.
“That’s not something we’ve seen before. … There are other homes as well with other types of pyrite that haven’t got into previous schemes.
“So look, it’s a problem for government. It’ll be in the Housing for All Plan.
“I’m serious about this. I’ve campaigned on it for years and I’m in a position to hopefully do something about it.”

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.

Check Also

Councillors claim overgrown hedgerows taking out vehicle wing mirors

VEGETATION encroaching on a number of roads in East Clare has resulted in drivers losing …

error: Content is protected !!