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Tag Archives: Dr Martina Cleary

‘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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Anger at ‘discrimination’ in pyrite LPT exemption

THE government has been accused of “outrageous discrimination”, in excluding Clare from a new exemption on Local Property Tax (LPT) for homeowners who have defective concrete blocks. As the Finance Minister unveiled legislation that will bring in a raft of changes to the way LPT is levied, Dr Martina Cleary of the Clare Pyrite Action Group hit out at the failure to acknowledge the proven presence of pyrite in a number of homes across this county. Under the new LPT rules, outlined by Minister Paschal Donohue, affected homeowners in Donegal and Mayo, will now be given a temporary exemption. The redress scheme for those affected by pyrite and mica currently only covers those counties. As the local authority prepares to make the case for Clare’s inclusion in the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, Dr Cleary said she sees no reason why the exemption couldn’t be made available to homeowners in Clare who can have the documents required to prove they …

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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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Council getting to core of pyrite issue

TECHNICAL tests are to be carried out on a number of Clare homes to prove the presence of defective blocks and make the case for the extension of a redress scheme for those affected by pyrite or mica. Following representations from the county council to the Department of Housing, a detailed report on the extent of the issue has been requested. Of the 40 householders who have joined a Pyrite/Mica Action Group, five will now have a detailed and costly core-sampling process carried out on their homes. The results will be used to develop a profile of the extent of the problem in Clare and to make the case for the extension of the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, which currently covers just Mayo and Donegal. “This is a fairly invasive process,” said Senator Timmy Dooley who hosted a virtual meeting between the action group and staff of the council. “It will prove what we know to be the case. …

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Council engaging with homeowners to verify pyrite problem

THE founder of a group of up to 40 home owners, whose properties are crumbling because of defective building materials, has appealed to the government not to delay the extension of a support scheme to County Clare. The council has confirmed that it has sought the extension of the scheme and been contacted by the Department of Housing. The authority has made contact too, in recent days, with The Clare Pyrite/Mica Action Group. “Our situation has been raised by the council, TDs and senators, we’re so grateful for that support,” Dr Martina Cleary said. “It’s very important now that the process isn’t made overly complex. Several of our members are living in homes that are ready to fall and they’re afraid for their lives. Each winter that goes by, with the damp and the frost, the situation is getting worse and you can literally hear the blocks cracking. You can imagine the psychological stress. In Mayo and Donegal, where people …

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Pyrite Action Group call for more political support

POLITICAL support is increasing for a number of Clare householders whose properties are beginning to crack and crumble as a result of defective material in the blockwork. Since it was formed at the start of last month, the Clare Pyrite Action Group has had more than 30 people come forward from all parts of the county to highlight the condition of their homes. After a virtual meeting with Deputy Cathal Crowe last week, the action group is to hold an open event on Monday in the hope of garnering the support of more Oireachtas members and county councillors. To-date, a number of parliamentary questions have been tabled on their behalf about the possibility of extending a remediation scheme for those affected by defective blockwork, but none has received a positive response. Last week, the Department of Housing approved a call to have Limerick city and county taken under the remit of a scheme for homes where pyrite is present in …

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Minister slated over stance on defective Clare homes

SHARP criticism has been directed at the minister for housing, after he refused to help to Clare homeowners who believe their properties are affected by defective building materials containing pyrite or mica. One local TD has estimated that over 40 people in this county may be affected by the materials which can cause severe structural damaged to buildings, and that many others have not yet come forward. Following the setting up last month of the Clare Pyrite Action Group, the personal experiences of a number of homeowners across the county have been reported by The Champion. The situation in this county was raised in Dáil Éireann last week by Deputy Cathal Crowe and the Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin, with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien ruling out any extension to Clare of the existing remediation schemes. Dr Martina Cleary, the founder of the action group, has hit out at the fact that Minister O’Brien when in opposition, slated the …

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Political answers sought to Clare ‘pyrite’ issues

POLITICAL answers are being sought on behalf of a number of Clare homeowners whose properties are affected by what they believe to be defective building materials like pyrite and mica. The plight of Geraldine Kennedy of Parteen, which was highlighted in last week’s Clare Champion, prompted a visit from Deputy Cathal Crowe, who said he had been able to put his fingers into the cracks in the wall because they were so wide. Deputy Crowe has since tabled two questions to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, on behalf of Geraldine and several other homeowners. “There are as many as 42 confirmed cases in Clare,” he said, “and many more suspected cases. My first question for the minister is to explain the options available to homeowners here. The existing schemes are very county-specific. We will need the buy in of Clare County Council on this, but I don’t foresee a major difficulty in that respect.” Deputy Crowe said …

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