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Tag Archives: Clare Pyrite Action Group

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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Trauma of defective blocks saga to be explored at TUS

THE traumatic impact of living in a home with defective concrete blocks is to be explored in a two-day conference hosted by the Technological University of The Shannon (TUS) in May.  The international event entitled ‘Losing Your Home – ‘The Impact of Defective Concrete Blocks in Ireland’ will hear from a host of experts in the fields of engineering and geology as well as mental health and arts specialists.  The event is being organised by the founder of the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG), Dr Martina Cleary and Dr Rita Scully of the Department of the Built Environment at TUS. “The issue of Defective Concrete Blocks, containing deleterious materials, particularly Pyrite, Mica and Reactive Sulphates is one currently impacting thousands of homeowners in the western seaboard counties of Ireland,” said the organisers. “As walls crack and homes crumble, the financial, legal and psychological consequences on very ordinary people is becoming a widening crisis, affecting all parts of our communities. “In …

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Frustration as Minister avoids Clare questions on pyrite scheme

DESPITE new proposals on redress for homeowners with defective concrete blocks, there is still no clarity on when Clare will gain access to the scheme, or on what terms. At the request of the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) answers have been sought by three Clare TDs. The responses they have received have been described by the group’s founder, Dr Martina Cleary as “completing ignoring the questions and the pyrite issue in Clare”. Earlier this month The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) published proposals for the remediation of eight different dwelling types, including those in estates one one-off houses. Options range from full demolition and rebuilding to partial repair options. Significantly, the SCSI proposed grant support based on building costs for 2022. Previously, homeowners raised concerns about the difficulty in meeting eligibility for the revised Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme. They also voiced concerns that homeowners who did quality would be left with large shortfalls on their costs. Following …

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Storm fears for Clare homeowners affected by pyrite

NUMEROUS severe storms recently forced some residents of homes with pyrite to go to extreme lengths to secure their properties. The harsh weather conditions have also prompted fears that the condition of some houses has deteriorated even further in recent days.  Storm Eunice brought a Red weather warning for Clare recently and was followed by even more severe conditions during Storm Franklin the following weekend. In Kilksihen, Danny Moloney whose home has tested positive for pyrite, said the situation has been very frightening for himself and the three generations of his family who share the house. Mr Moloney’s home, which has been assessed by an expert engineer and had expensive core testing done to prove the presence of pyrite, has severe external and internal cracks.  “Things got so bad, at one stage last weekend, with the high wind, rain and hail that I had to get foam to block the wind coming in around the frame of the patio door,” …

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Politicians accept patience wearing thin on pyrite

THERE was a large attendance of Oireachtas members and councillors at the recent pyrite protest in Ennis when politicians were warned that their seats could hang in the balance if redress isn’t provided soon. They could also face a further challenge in the form of election candidates standing on the issue of pyrite redress. Deputy Cathal Crowe told The Champion the frustration of homeowners was “very understandable”. “We have to respect where they are coming from,” he said. “They’re slowly watching their homes fall around them and with each month, the structure of their home deteriorates further.” In relation to a meeting with Minister Darragh O’Brien which was cancelled, at short notice, last week, Deputy Crowe was confident it would be rescheduled. “I’m in constant contact with Minister Darragh O’Brien and also with the redress group here in Clare,” he said. “Minister O’Brien made a firm commitment in Mary Hanley’s front lawn in August last year and he stands over …

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Pyrite cracks cannot continue to be plastered over

It has been a long time since there was a parade in Ennis. The pandemic put paid to so many public celebrations. That’s why, on Saturday last when over 200 people took to the streets, there was a very brief sense that normal life was returning. There were people of all generations with banners and flags flying, grandparents gently steering small children along in the colourful crowd of marchers that set off, behind a Garda escort, from Áras Chontae an Chláir. But this parade was far from normal. There were no smiles as the gathering assembled at its focal point at The Height, in the shadow of The O’Connell Monument. Instead, stress and worry were clearly visible on the faces of children, parents and grandparents as they heard calls for action on their pyrite-damaged homes. They listened to stories of others whose homes, like theirs, have started to crack and crumble. They heard of the fear and insecurity for those …

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