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Tag Archives: mica

‘Bureaucracy’ delaying decision on Clare blocks redress access

FURTHER delays in giving Clare homeowners access to the grant scheme for defective blocks have been strongly condemned by the founder of The Clare Pyrite Action Group. There were conflicting reports, at a recent public meeting, on whether and when the Department of Housing had raised queries with the council, over its application to access to the scheme. The Department has now clarified to Deputy Joe Carey and to The Champion that it is to contact the council “shortly” about the report it submitted in June. Given the Minister gave an assurance, on his Clare visit in August, that a decision would be made in a matter of weeks, the delay has provoked anger. “This is disgraceful carry on,” Dr Martina Cleary said. “Bureaucracy is being used to drag out people’s suffering. This obfuscation is unacceptable, and the council’s application is being pushed from pillar to post. It’s an utter joke and they think people are stupid enough to believe …

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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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Carey welcomes ‘constructive’ meeting on defective blocks issue

A “CONSTRUCTIVE” meeting was held on Friday (September 24) between the Tanaiste, Deputy Joe Carey and a number of other Fine Gael representatives in counties affected by pyrite and mica.  The urgent meeting with the Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar was instigated by Deputies Carey, Joe McHugh and Alan Dillion over concerns that a review of the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme might not result in homeowner’s full costs being met. Welcoming the Tånasite’s assurance that the possibility of 100% redress remains on the table, Deputy Carey described the meeting as “very constructive”. “It was very constructive and this is a very important time for the campaign for a fit-for-purpose redress scheme which covers 100% of homeowners costs,” he said. “We are really getting down to the nitty gritty now and it’s important that we do all in our power to secure improvements [in the grant scheme] and 100% redress.” The Clarecastle man has also said he expects a meeting …

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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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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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