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Tag Archives: Clare Pyrite Action Group

Clare Pyrite Action Group chair joins Sinn Féin local election ticket

Sinn Féin’s chances of winning a seat in the Killaloe Electoral Area have been boosted by the entry of Dr Martina Cleary to the Local Elections race. The chairperson of the Clare Pyrite Action Group Dr Martina Cleary has been announced as Sinn Féin’s candidate in the East Clare constituency. Dr Cleary is the founder and chair of the group since 2020 and successfully lobbied for a Defective Concrete Block Scheme for Clare homeowners affected by the pyrite issue. This included the securing of half a billion euros in funding for Clare and Limerick families. In a statement issued to The Clare Champion, Sinn Féin stated the Crusheen resident will continue her campaigning work but hopes to also tackle many other issues when elected. Dr Cleary is a Teachers Union of Ireland rep at the Technological University of the Shannon, where she is a lecturer. When asked why she became involved in politics, Martina said she has always been unofficially …

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Pyrite grant for Clare ‘in five weeks’

PYRITE homeowners in Clare will have to wait another five weeks before they can apply for grant support, according to the county’s Fianna Fáil TD.  Tempers flared at meeting in Ennis on Friday evening (June 16) and that update met with both scepticism and anger. Several homeowners challenged Deputy Cathal Crowe over what they see as previous broken promises and missed deadlines in their three-year campaign. While deadlines for ministerial sign-off  on the new grant, slipped on June 1 and 14, several homeowners angrily recalled Minister Darragh O’Brien’s visit to Clare in August 2021, and the promise of support “within a matter of weeks”.  Deputy Crowe assured homeowners that despite a last-minute delay, over concerns in Donegal – one of the three other counties covered by the grant – they would be able to make applications “five weeks from now”.  Deputy Violet Anne Wynne, who was the only other Oireachtas member present, was sharply critical of the delay saying that …

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Effort to axe ‘deeply flawed’ concrete levy

HEATED exchanges characterised the first stage of a private members Dáil motion last night (October 4), urging government to scrap the proposed 10% levy on concrete products. The charge was outlined in Budget 2023 as a means of raising funds to support the revised scheme for homeowners, including those in Clare, with defective concrete blocks.  The proposal has been widely criticised by sectors including construction and farming, as well as action groups for pyrite and mica homeowners. In Clare, Dr Martina Cleary, founder of the local action group slammed the levy, saying it was letting the real culprits in the pyrite scandal off the hook.  This week Sinn Féin tabled a motion aiming to have the levy scrapped. Tuesday night’s debate was chaired by Deputy Joe Carey, in his capacity as Acting Chairperson.  Ahead of the vote on Wednesday night, Sinn Féin Councillor Donna McGettigan urged all Clare TDs to back the motion.  The Shannon representative described the plans as …

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Defective Blocks bill passes Seanad with reservations expressed

LEGISLATION underpinning the revised scheme for homeowners with defective blocks has passed all stages in the Seanad and will be signed by the President. The Bill was debated in the upper house of the Oireachtas last week and while 69 amendments were tabled, the legislation went through largely unchanged. Senator Timmy Dooley told the chamber that despite the work done to date, concerns remain for many, including members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group. Paying tribute to its members, he described Dr Martina Cleary and Mary Hanley as “two formidable women who have worked hard to put together a comprehensive response” to the Bill. “One of the main issues I hear about from Clare homeowners concerns the damage threshold, he told the Seanad. “There is a belief that it will determine who will be accepted under the scheme. As yet, that damage threshold has not been determined. People are worried that when regulations on this are set, 90% of applicants …

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Campaigner warns TDs defective blocks are all over Ireland

A WARNING has been issued by the founder of the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) that defective blocks may be present in every county in Ireland. Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing last week, Dr Martina Cleary urged members to address the possibility that problems may come to light in many other counties. “I will tell the eminent members of the committee that this problem may not yet be in their counties but it is coming,” she said. “We currently know of defective concrete blocks, or suspicions of same, in 12 counties along the western and eastern seaboards. It is likely a problem in every county. “The decisions the committee comes to and the recommendations it makes will be instrumental in influencing how this crisis plays out among members’ constituents, neighbours, friends and family. “They may have defective concrete blocks in their homes and do not realise it. Do not let the situation play out elsewhere as it did …

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Over 1,000 Clare homes could be affected by pyrite

MORE than 1,000 homes in Clare could have pyrite, new research shows, with Newmarket-on-Fergus the worst hit area.  A study unveiled by Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) chairperson, Dr Martina Cleary, estimates that 1,025 homes and 11 public and private buildings have defective blocks. A survey of 90 members of the CPAG, shows affected homes in 38 locations. Seven of these are in Newmarket. Drumline, Ennis, Kilkee, Kilrush and Sixmilebridge have five homes each. There are four properties in Cratloe, with the same number in Feakle, Kilkishen and Shannon. Clonlara, Crusheen, Inagh and Miltown each has three pyrite-affected properties. There are two in each of Doolin, Doonbeg, Fanore, Ennistymon, Quin and Tulla. The remaining 19 are dotted across Clare.  The findings were unveiled this week at a conference on the impact of defective blocks, hosted by the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS). The data shows that 17 private housing estates are affected and five Council developments.  Respondents were also …

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Advocates fear lack of scrutiny of new defective blocks bill 

A GENERAL scheme for the new Bill to revise the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme is to be considered by Government in the next fortnight.  The Department of Housing told The Champion that “work on the formulation of the General Scheme for the enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme is ongoing”, but refused to be drawn on the issue of Pre-Legislative Scrutiny. The potential absence of this consultative phase in drafting the legislation, is a matter of major concern for the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) and advocates around Ireland.  In a letter to Clare’s Oireachtas members, the CPAG said that to “under no circumstances can we accept a situation where Pre-Legislative Scrutiny would not be carried out on the new Enhanced Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme”. The group has reiterated concerns over aspects of the new scheme, including the damage threshold; access to an independent engineer and testing; and the focus on remediation options other than demolition.  “It is …

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Council to provide ‘irrefutable’ proof of pyrite impact in Clare

FURTHER data that proves the damaging impact of pyrite in Clare homes is “absolutely irrefutable”, councillors have been told. Proof of a causative link was requested by the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government (DHHLG) on foot of an application last July for access to the defective blocks grant scheme. This week’s local authority meeting was told that this data is to be sent in a matter of days. The director said that a meeting between council executives and members of Clare Pyrite Action Group last Friday had provided an update on the testing that has recently been carried out in response to queries from the DHHLG on its original report last July. The meeting was attended by expert engineer Simon Beale who was working with the Council to reply to queries from the DHHLG. “He outlined in a robust fashion that the presence of pyrite and the causative link to damage is absolutely irrefutable,” said Director of Housing …

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