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Tag Archives: pyrite

Anger as more pyrite proof sought

State accused of ‘stalling tactics’ by Clare advocate “A LITANY of broken promises” has been condemned by the founder of the Clare Pyrite Action Group, after confirmation of further delays in access to the defective blocks scheme. Dr Martina Cleary said that more than 100 homeowners in Clare will now have no option but to take legal action and engage in further protests. Despite assurances from the Housing Minister on August 27, that a decision on extending the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme would be made “within weeks”, the process has become protracted. After raising queries with the council about the cost of a technical report it submitted in July, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) has now sought further technical data. This added hitch has sparked anger, with Dr Cleary accusing the Department of “stalling tactics”. “The Department is now looking for additional test data and it’s clearly a delaying strategy,” she told The Champion. “I …

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Clare redress access ‘expected’

Minister awaiting clarification around Council application before confirming access to defective blocks scheme THE Housing Minister has said he expects the scheme for homes with defective blocks to be extended to Clare, once queries over a county council application are dealt with. Responding to a query from Deputy Joe Carey, Minister Darragh O’Brien outlined the communications between his department and the local authority on the matter. “We received a submission from the local authority in July requesting an extension of the defective block grant scheme to County Clare,” he outlined. “We issued a response on August 3 indicating we would review the submission and we did so. We saw details of a breakdown of costs associated with the report on September 28. “A number of issues arose, none of them insurmountable. It is standard that clarification is needed. “I have been directly involved with regard to the submission on Clare. In this regard, I asked my officials to deal with …

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Clarity over council costs in preparing pyrite testing

DETAILS have been provided on the costs incurred by Clare County Council in preparing a report on the extent of pyrite in homes here. A Freedom of Information (FOI) request shows the council is seeking to recoup €80,000 after the Department of Housing asked it to make a case for extending the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme to Clare. The report is being considered by Minister Darragh O’Brien, alongside a major overhaul of the scheme itself, which currently only covers Mayo and Donegal. At a public meeting in October, attended by up to 80 homeowners, there were some fractious exchanges between Oireachtas members over the bill. A breakdown of the costs was sought by the Department of Housing and correspondence, secured under FOI, shows that the council clarified the bill. The authority said that external tests and reports were carried out on ten properties at a cost of €7,000 each. A further cost of €15,000 was incurred for “internal technical …

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‘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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Plea not to allow block blame distract from main purpose

“LIGHT touch regulation” has been blamed for the crisis caused by defective concrete blocks in several counties including Clare.  At a meeting of the Clare Pyrite Action Group last Friday, Senator Martin Conway said “cost-cutting”, on the part of some in the construction sector, had also contributed to the worsening problem. “It’s nobody’s fault in this room,” he told the 80 people present. “It’s as a result of light touch regulation that governments over the years are responsible for, particularly in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, when there was no proper engineering regulation, examinations, no proper reporting. “This type of situation happened because developers, builders, and suppliers were in a situation where they were cost cutting to make as much money as possible. It’s even going back further than the early ‘90s. “The sad reality is that people in this room have been devastated. Their homes have been devastated. The duty on this generation of politicians, as far as …

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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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Politicians hear of homeowners’ heartache

“STRESS, strain and mental anguish” were among the words used by Clare’s Sinn Fein member to describe the situation faced by the owners of homes with pyrite. Deputy Violet Anne Wynne, along with fellow Clare Oireachtas members, expressed solidarity and support for the up to 80 members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group who gathered in Treacy’s West County Hote. “This is not just about buildings,” she said, calling for Clare to be given immediate access to the grant scheme for home remediation. It’s the nightmare of living with constant uncertainty.” Her words were echoed by all of Clare’s Oireachtas members, as well as Deputy Michael McNamara, who could not attend, but who sent a statement of support. Deputy Joe Carey outlined how he had just visited a home in Newmarket-on-Fergus which had tested positive for pyrite. “That house was built in 1989 and cracks only started to appear two years ago,” he told the meeting. That family is just …

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Fear about state jiggery pokery on scheme delay

Council says that it has received no correspondence from Department of Housing GOVERNMENT officials have been accused of “playing a little bit of jiggery pokery” over the decision on giving Clare homeowners access to the defective blocks grant. Alarm was expressed at a meeting in Ennis between politicians and the Clare Pyrite Action Group, over differing accounts on the status of the council’s application to access the grant. Two Oireachtas members, who spoke to the Housing Minister ahead of the meeting, said he told them his Department is waiting for a response to queries about the report the council submitted in July. The meeting was also told that the Council had received no such correspondence, as of Friday. As of this Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Council told The Champion that no queries have yet been received. At Friday’s meeting, Deputy Joe Carey outlined how the Minister Darragh O’Brien had told him his department has raised queries with the Council. …

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