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Tag Archives: defective concrete blocks

Council seek go-ahead for pyrite grant facilitator 

A FACILITATOR to help Clare homeowners applying for grant support to treat the damage caused by pyrite, is being sought.  Councillor Ian Lynch confirmed that Clare County Council has written to the Department of Housing in relation to the recruitment of a local facilitator. Two staff were hired in Donegal – one of the four counties covered by the new grant – in March. Their role is to support those applying for the new scheme, which is expected to open imminently, though one-to-one clinics and public information sessions. “The Council has officially applied to the Department to appoint a facilitator,” the Independent councillor said. “The ball has started to roll on that matter. Any time there is a resource being provided and paid for by the Department, we need to grab it with both hands. It’s good to be able to reassure homeowners and CPAG after the questions that were raised at the meeting in Ennis. Homeowners will need someone …

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Crowe insists pyrite quarries will be pursued

QUARRIES who supplied the defective concrete products that have devastated homes across the county came in for severe criticism, when members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) met on a thundery Friday night last (June 16).  After outlining that it would be another five weeks before homeowners here could apply for the new grant scheme, Deputy Cathal Crowe gave an assurance over the government’s commitment. He accepted people’s reservations about the terms of the grant, but said that further amendments to the underpinning legislation, which was debated last summer, could have jeopardised the funding. “There was a state of economic flux and I think it was right to ring fence the money, and drive on to some degree for better or worse,” he said. “I accept you’re not all happy.”  Responding, Séamus Hanley of Drumline, whose home was visited by Minister Darragh O’Brien in 2021, said the solution to funding concerns was to pursue those responsible for the defective …

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Shannon Garda Station confirmed to have pyrite

PYRITE has been confirmed in Shannon Garda Station, prompting a call for the government to mount a legal challenge against those who produced the defective material. The presence of pyrite, which can cause severe cracking and other structural defects, was confirmed to Deputy Cathal Crowe, who said he will now seek answers from government on where that material came from.  The discovery was made after the Fianna Fáil TD queried that status of a request to have the building painted. In response to his question, the Office of Public Works (OPW), who manage thousands of public buildings, said pyrite had been detected. “A routine inspection early last year at Shannon Garda Station raised concerns in respect to cracking observed in the external façade of the building,” a reply outlined. “The OPW appointed external consultants to investigate the cause of this cracking and the consultant’s report confirmed the presence of pyrite in the external leaf of the building.” Deputy Crowe described the …

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‘If you don’t live in a house with pyrite, you don’t understand’

SERIOUS mental and physical health impacts for people living in homes where the concrete blocks are defective were outlined at a meeting in Ennis last Friday night (June 16).  As members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) sought an update on the new grant scheme, frustration boiled over they were told they would not be able to make applications for another five weeks.  One emotional homeowner told the meeting that she was recovering after recently suffering a stroke. “My husband now has long Covid and is unable to work,” she said. “How will we manage? What supports will there be to navigate this grant process? I feel like we’re being set up to fail.” Deputy Violet Anne Wynne said the woman was the second person in a fortnight to say they had suffered a stroke as a result of dealing with the stress of pyrite. “While politicians can certainly empathise with the issues constituents are experiencing, you can only …

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Adjusted levy no substitute for full-scale blocks inquiry

THE government’s decision to reduce the proposed levy on concrete products has been described as “literally a half measure” by the founder of the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG).  Dr Martina Cleary said the reduction to five percent of the levy announced in the Budget would still just bounce back on those who have been forced to remediate their homes because of defective concrete blocks.  While the levy was unveiled as a means of funding the revised grant scheme for pyrite and mica-affected homeowners in Clare, Limerick, Donegal and Mayo, it generated widespread controversy over the likely impact on building costs. The CPAG founder described the measure as a “facade” which fails to challenge those who supplied defective materials affecting thousands of homes. “Rather than this half measure, there should be a full-scale public inquiry into those quarries and suppliers responsible and a massive fine imposed on them,” she said. “It is despicable that this revised grant is allowing those …

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Ex-builder: suppliers ‘must have known’ about defective blocks

Former construction professional recalls being told crumbling blocks were ‘too fresh’ but notes all blocks are tested before they are sold A PYRITE crisis has been predicted in Clare by a former construction sector professional, whose own home is now beginning to show signs of defective concrete in its blocks. The man, who spoke to The Champion on condition of anonymity, shared his experience of working during the years of the Celtic Tiger building boom. He recalled instances where bales of concrete blocks would “crumble” on site, and have to be returned to the supplier. He said that when construction companies raised concerns, they would be told those blocks were “too fresh”. The man also believes that those making and supplying the products must have known of wider quality issues. He added that while people are paying 15-30 year mortgages, some homes won’t last that long and he warned of the toll of the issue on people’s mental health. In …

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