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Tag Archives: Donegal

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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Donegal activist: people must pull together

ONE of the country’s most vocal campaigners on defective concrete blocks has appealed to Clare homeowners to work with him for better redress. Paddy Diver joined a remote meeting of the Clare Pyrite Action Group on Friday, just hours after they spoke to Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien. Mr Diver from Donegal is one of up to 5,000 homeowners affected by mica. Like pyrite, mica causes defects that lead to cracking and crumbling of blocks. The Donegal activist was updated on the minister’s pledge to give a decision, in a matter of weeks, on the Council’s application for access to the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme. Mr Diver is a member of the working group looking for an increase in redress from 90 to 100% and one of the organisers of a protest in Dublin last June. “The light at the end of the tunnel is in all counties coming together,” he told the meeting. “In Donegal, we were kept on …

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‘Voices need to be heard’

Clare TD questions county’s exclusion from pyrite scheme review THE Tanáiste has said that homeowners in Clare, whose properties are being damaged by pyrite, will have to be included in efforts to assess the effectiveness of a State-supported remediation scheme. Leo Varadkar made his remarks in response to a Dáil question from Deputy Violet Anne Wynne who voiced concern as to why a working group, set up to review the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, had failed to include a representative from this county. The Clare Sinn Féin TD said that while the establishment of the group was a positive move, the government could not continue to ignore the people of this county. “I would like to know why a representative from the Clare pyrite group was not invited and included,” she said. “This is completely unacceptable, disheartening and, quite simply, not good enough. It has taken 12 years to get to this point for those affected in Mayo and …

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Mayo pyrite activist tells Clare: ‘don’t sit back and take this’

A MAYO activist, who has been central to a campaign to highlight the issue of defective concrete blocks, has pledged to work with affected homeowners in Clare so that they too can get redress. Jamie Lee Donnelly from Ballina is one of the founders of the North Mayo Pyrite Group, which now represents 600 people whose homes are cracking and crumbling because of defective materials. She told The Champion she strongly favours the inclusion of Clare in the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, which currently covers only Mayo and Donegal. As an expert group meets this week to look at calls for an increase in the level of redress from 90 to 100%, Jamie backed calls for other counties, including Clare, Limerick and Sligo, to be given access to supports. “I would urge people in other counties to make their voices heard,” she said. “Don’t sit back, don’t take this. We are fortunate in Mayo and Donegal that we have …

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Clare redress access ‘premature’

DEPUTY Joe Carey has been told that a decision to extend a redress scheme to Clare homeowners affected by pyrite is “premature” until a full report on the extent of the problem has been compiled, writes Fiona McGarry. The Fine Gael TD tabled a questions to the Minister for Housing asking him to report on work to incorporate Clare in the defective concrete block scheme and whether homeowners will be eligible for 100% of the costs. Responding, Minister Darragh O’Brien outlined how Clare County Council is compiling a report on the extent of the problem in this county. “Such analysis will provide the evidential basis necessary for the consideration of any extension of the scheme,” he said. “Pending the receipt of and consideration of such analysis it would be premature to consider an extension of the scheme,” the minister added. In respect of the existing scheme which only covers Mayo and Donegal, Minister O’Brien said he expects a review being …

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‘Their walls are crumbling, their lives are decimated’, Seanad told

A CALL has been made for a Clare representative to be appointed to a committee reviewing the defective concrete blocks scheme, in the hope that redress might be extended to homeowners in this county. In the Seanad this week, Senator Timmy Dooley said the lives of homeowners in Clare and elsewhere have been “decimated” by the presence of defects caused by pyrite and mica. The matter was raised in the upper house by Senator Dooley and two party colleagues, Lisa Chambers and Niall Blaney. Senators Chambers and Blaney, representing Mayo and Donegal respectively, which are covered by the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, called for the redress to be increased from a maximum of 90% to 100%. Senator Dooley told the house the scheme must be extended to this county, where the extent of the issue is only becoming known. “…There is a real issue with defective blocks in County Clare,” the Fianna Fáil senator said. “It is not mica …

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Grandmother fears house will fall over building defects

A GRANDMOTHER of ten, living in South East Clare, says she is living in fear over the condition of her home where serious building defects have been identified. Geraldine Kennedy from Parteen came forward after an article in last week’s Champion, where a woman in the north of the county called on others to join the new Clare Pyrite Action Group. “My hair has fallen out over this and I’ve had panic attacks,” Mrs Kennedy said. “We are incredibly frustrated because we’ve had to pay for all kinds of tests and repair work and, at this stage, no matter what we do, it won’t solve the problem. I would be afraid the house will fall down and the only option would be to have it knocked altogether and rebuilt.” Engineer’s reports have shown the presence of a defective material in the blockwork of Mrs Kennedy’s home. The family has already spent thousands on tests to the building to prove the …

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Garrihy looking forward to Oscar showdown

FACING Inishowen in Sunday’s Oscar Traynor decider is the final Clare manager Donie Garrihy wanted last year. “We were up there, we watched them beat Galway in Deacy Park and they won well. They are very passionate players. We watched them against the Leinster Senior League. They had an man sent off and Leinster Senior League caught them in the last five minutes. I was on the pitch afterwards with Denis Hynes and I shook hands with Inishowen manager Denis O’Brien, whom I admire very much. I said ‘we are so disappointed’. We were looking forward to playing the final there; it’s such a brilliant pitch.” The Doolin man added, “We went on and won the final and there were great celebrations followed by a civic reception, which was brilliant. It fills you with pride but you must keep your feet on the ground as well. The target again this year was to get out of the group. It was …

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