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Tag Archives: Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme

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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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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Wynne slams ‘delaying tactics’ on access to blocks redress scheme

CLARE’S Sinn Féin TD has hit out at what she described as “the ongoing inaction by the government” in response to Clare homeowners affected by pyrite and mica. Deputy Violet Anne Wynne described the recent announcement that bringing Clare homeowners into the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme will require the advice of the Attorney General (AG) and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, as “a delaying tactic”. “The recent statement by Minister [Darragh] O’Brien is more of the same,” the Kilrush resident said. “[It’s] a delaying tactic in what is inevitable and has been rigorously proven as such. There are at least 90 homes and two estates affected by pyrite defective blocks, but the real number may indeed be much higher. The government’s stall tactics add insult to injury.” Deputy Wynne also repeated concerns over the burden of stress placed on those affected by defective materials including pyrite and mica. “Based on my engagement with the Clare Pyrite Action …

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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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Call for concrete blocks inquiry following report

Clare Pyrite Group: Defective block providers and regulatory failures must be exposed CALLS for a public inquiry into damage caused by defective concrete blocks have been backed by the founder of the Clare Pyrite Action Group, following the completion of a position paper by affected homeowners in Donegal and Mayo. Dr Martina Cleary said that while the priority is to ensure homeowners are fully financially supported to rebuild their properties, those who produced the defective materials and those who failed to regulate the sector must be pursued. “There is a lot of concern about particular providers,” Dr Cleary said. “A public inquiry absolutely has to happen, but that should be after compensation and redress are provided. Redress must come first, but these companies cannot be allowed to get off the hook.” The call for a full public inquiry, as well as an apology to homeowners, is one of the recommendations of the position paper submitted last week to the Department …

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Carey in urgent meeting with Varadkar on pyrite

AN URGENT meeting between the Tånaiste and Deputy Joe Carey is expected to take place, to discuss supports for homeowners affected by pyrite and mica.  The Clarecastle-based TD is one of three Fine Gael deputies to seek the meeting, after a briefing on Tuesday night from members of a Working Group set up to review the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme.  The group, who are seeking an increase in the grant from 90 to 100% of remediation costs, voiced alarm at comments from the Fine Gael leader this week on controlling the impact on public finances. Following the online briefing, Deputies Carey, Alan Dillon (Mayo) and Joe McHugh (Donegal) contacted Leo Varadkar to ask for a meeting. “In Clare, we are still trying to get access to the scheme,” Deputy Carey said. “I would expect that we will, but the scheme must be fit for purpose and provide the necessary finance. At the moment, the scheme doesn’t do that. As …

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