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Tag Archives: Clare Pyrite Action Group

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 …

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Fear about state jiggery pokery on scheme delay

Council says that it has received no correspondence from Department of Housing GOVERNMENT officials have been accused of “playing a little bit of jiggery pokery” over the decision on giving Clare homeowners access to the defective blocks grant. Alarm was expressed at a meeting in Ennis between politicians and the Clare Pyrite Action Group, over differing accounts on the status of the council’s application to access the grant. Two Oireachtas members, who spoke to the Housing Minister ahead of the meeting, said he told them his Department is waiting for a response to queries about the report the council submitted in July. The meeting was also told that the Council had received no such correspondence, as of Friday. As of this Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Council told The Champion that no queries have yet been received. At Friday’s meeting, Deputy Joe Carey outlined how the Minister Darragh O’Brien had told him his department has raised queries with the Council. …

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Drop party politics and keep focus on justice, meeting told

TENSIONS flared between some of the county’s Oireachtas members at a public meeting with members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group last Friday night. There were some heated exchanges and accusations of “playing politics” as Deputy Violet Anne Wynne criticised members of the government parties over their “political gestures”. “I don’t believe we should even be here tonight,” she told the meeting. “I’m very disappointed in how Clare has been treated… “What each of the speakers has said so far has only been political gestures and nothing more than that.… I don’t think that it takes much for government to call for equality. “For us in Sinn Fein, that’s what this issue is about. In Dublin and in Leinster, they were afforded 100% redress.” The Sinn Fein TD said that rather than hearing from politicians, she would prefer to hear from members of the public. She was also sharply critical of Deputy Cathal Crowe, accusing him of a lack of …

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Why are we still waiting?

Pyrite Action Group still waiting on a decision six weeks after Housing Minister’s assurances ANGER at the delay in providing State support to Clare homeowners whose properties have seriously defective concrete blocks will be voiced at a meeting in Ennis on Friday. Members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group have invited all public representatives to attend the gathering at Treacy’s West County Hotel. The event will take place six weeks to the day that the Housing Minister assured homeowners that a decision on their access to The Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme would be made “in a matter of weeks”. “Our homes will fall down around us if we’re waiting much longer,” said the group’s founder, Dr Martina Cleary. “On his visit to Clare on August 27, Minister Darragh O’Brien promised that an answer on whether County Clare would have access to the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, would be “in a matter of weeks”. It is now six weeks …

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Concern over ‘rebranding’ of state’s redress scheme

THE founder of the Clare Pyrite Action Group has expressed grave concerns over what she sees as the recent ‘rebranding’ of the campaign to increase redress for affected homeowners. Dr Martina Cleary, whose membership includes more than 70 private homeowners, as well as those living in a number of local authority estates, has been working for over a year to secure access for Clare to the existing grant scheme. While Minister Darragh O’Brien indicated that a decision on Clare’s status will be made very soon, a parallel campaign to improve the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme is also drawing to a close with efforts stepping up to secure 100% redress. Against the backdrop of intensifying media and political speculation, Dr Cleary said she is now fearful that long-awaited improvements to the scheme, which currently only covers Mayo and Donegal, may not be extended to Clare. “I’m very concerned about the new PR spin that has been put on the 100% …

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Clare’s blocks issue is same as Mayo’s

Expert report states Clare should have redress access ONE of Ireland’s leading experts on defective blockwork has found Clare’s pyrite problem to be similar to that in Mayo, where several hundred homes are affected. In a detailed technical report prepared for Clare County Council and submitted, since the end of July, to the Department of Housing, Simon Beale and Associates (SBA) said the nature of the blockwork problem here is very similar to that in Mayo. The 29-page report, released to The Champion under the Freedom of Information Act, repeatedly highlights the technical similarities between the situations in Clare and Mayo. The Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme was opened in 2020 after a long-running campaign for redress by homeowners in Mayo and in Donegal, where the mineral mica is believed to be present in thousands of homes. Simon Beale, who is a recognised expert on defective blocks, and has assessed and tested over 150 homes in Mayo, compiled the report …

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More pyrite cases emerge in east of county

FURTHER concerns have emerged over potential pyrite damage to a number of homes in the South East Clare area. It is understood that publicity around the issue of defective blocks and the visit of the Housing Minister to see a badly affected home in Drumline has prompted other homeowners to come forward. Following a number of calls to The Champion from concerned homeowners, Councillor Patrick O’Gorman confirmed that he has also been contacted. “There are definitely more people who now realise that their houses may be affected,” the Cratloe man said. “As recently as last weekend, I’ve met homeowners who believe there may be pyrite in their homes. In one case, a couple have decided they’re going to have to sleep at one end of their house, because of their fears over the condition of the other side of it. “It’s a very worrying situation and it’s only after the issue was highlighted in the media by the action group …

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Carey welcomes ‘constructive’ meeting on defective blocks issue

A “CONSTRUCTIVE” meeting was held on Friday (September 24) between the Tanaiste, Deputy Joe Carey and a number of other Fine Gael representatives in counties affected by pyrite and mica.  The urgent meeting with the Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar was instigated by Deputies Carey, Joe McHugh and Alan Dillion over concerns that a review of the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme might not result in homeowner’s full costs being met. Welcoming the Tånasite’s assurance that the possibility of 100% redress remains on the table, Deputy Carey described the meeting as “very constructive”. “It was very constructive and this is a very important time for the campaign for a fit-for-purpose redress scheme which covers 100% of homeowners costs,” he said. “We are really getting down to the nitty gritty now and it’s important that we do all in our power to secure improvements [in the grant scheme] and 100% redress.” The Clarecastle man has also said he expects a meeting …

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