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Tag Archives: Dr Martina Cleary

Call for unity in redress pursuit

THE first in-person meeting of the Clare Pyrite Action Group heard a heart-felt call for members to tell their stories publicly, and to prepare to support each other in the campaign for redress. Dr Martina Cleary, who founded the group over a year ago, addressed up to 80 people gathered at Treacy’s West County Hotel last Friday night (October 8) to ask questions of Clare’s Oireachtas members and other public representatives. She told the meeting that those whose homes have defective concrete blocks must be prepared “to take whatever measures are needed” to secure access to a grant scheme, and she urged those affected to join the campaign. The meeting was attended by Clare’s three senators and four of its five TDs, with apologies being sent by Deputy Michael McNamara. Councillors Joe Cooney, Ann Norton and Shane Talty were also present. At the outset, Dr Cleary told politicians that she was hoping for positive news on when Clare would secure …

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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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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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‘Farcical’ timeframe on Clare pyrite redress decision

THE founder of the Clare Pyrite Action Group has described as “farcical” a response from the Department of Housing on the timeframe for a decision on the possible extension of the existing redress scheme to this county. Dr Martin Cleary questioned why there has been no indication to-date of when Minister Darragh O’Brien will issue a response to a report, submitted by the local authority on July 27, containing detailed evidence of the presence of pyrite here and making the case for extension of the Defective Concrete Blocks scheme to Clare. Dr Cleary’s comments follow a statement to The Champion which outlines that the report, commissioned by the Department, “will be examined thoroughly by the Department and a submission will be made to the Minister as soon as possible thereafter”. “It’s quite amazing that back in 2012 Darragh O’Brien was in the Dáil calling for urgent support for his own constituents who were affected by pyrite,” she said. “Now, here …

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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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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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