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Dan Moloney, Kilkishen, outside his home which is crumbling due to pyrite. Photo: John Kelly

Politicians hear of homeowners’ heartache

“STRESS, strain and mental anguish” were among the words used by Clare’s Sinn Fein member to describe the situation faced by the owners of homes with pyrite.
Deputy Violet Anne Wynne, along with fellow Clare Oireachtas members, expressed solidarity and support for the up to 80 members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group who gathered in Treacy’s West County Hote.
“This is not just about buildings,” she said, calling for Clare to be given immediate access to the grant scheme for home remediation. It’s the nightmare of living with constant uncertainty.”
Her words were echoed by all of Clare’s Oireachtas members, as well as Deputy Michael McNamara, who could not attend, but who sent a statement of support.
Deputy Joe Carey outlined how he had just visited a home in Newmarket-on-Fergus which had tested positive for pyrite.
“That house was built in 1989 and cracks only started to appear two years ago,” he told the meeting. That family is just trying to come to terms with the situation, like everyone in this room is. There is mental and financial pressure and huge stress on people. I’m doing everything I can at a political level to try find a solution.”
Deputy Carey added: “There are many other buildings in Clare that haven’t been taken into consideration. This is only the tip of the iceberg, in reporting only 100 homes.
“Some homes in estates and some public buildings. Many people who have pyrite don’t yet know that it’s there. That’s the reason why a group like this is so important and I’d urge everyone to get behind Mary [Hanley] and Martina [Cleary] and show your support.”
Senator Timmy Dooley agreed homeowners were suffering through no fault of their own: “The heartache, pain and mental anguish is palpable,” he said. “This is torture for homeowners who are under a huge amount of pressure and stress.”
Fellow Seanad member Roisin Garvey commended the work of the action group and said she has highlighted the issue with the Housing Minister, as well as with her party leader, Minister Eamon Ryan and a number of other Green ministers.
“I have been told categorically that Clare will be part of the [grant] scheme and that we will have good news by December,” she said.
Meanwhile, Fine Gael’s Senator Martin Conway described as “an injustice” the fact that Clare homeowners are still excluded from the scheme.
Deputy Cathal Crowe, who reiterated his belief that Clare homeowners will have access to the grant scheme before the end of the year.
“This is about a lot more than cracks in walls,” he said. “This is about alleviating the mental and physical stress and the impact on homeowners’ health.”
Deputy Crowe noted that, in addition to residential properties, a number of public buildings are affected by pyrite.
“There are other entities being checked in the county, beyond what your group has brought forward,” he said.
“I put one of them forward myself. It may be confirmed, it may not. … There’s a community place in the county I’m very concerned about and I’ve passed that over [to the council], a public building in the county and I know that some of those have been investigated.”

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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