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Tag Archives: pyrite

Call for one-stop-shop to support Clare pyrite homeowners

A CALL has been made for the opening of a ‘one stop shop’ in Clare to support midwestern homeowners affected by pyrite.  Deputy Cathal Crowe is seeking the facility, which would be overseen by The Housing Agency and would support homeowners accessing the new defective concrete blocks grant scheme. The calls has been made in parallel with the progressing of the Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022. Deputy Crowe said the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) is examining the option of opening regional support centres and he believes that the centre for the midwest should be located in Clare.  “The Housing Agency would oversee this,” he told The Champion. “It would provide an interface between the public and government staff and support homeowners in accessing the grant and getting remediation works done.” The new Bill, published last Tuesday evening (June 21), is a 62-page document outlining the revised blocks scheme. While Clare and …

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Pyrite ‘horror’ recalled at Oireachtas committee

THE horror of discovering her home had pyrite was recalled by the founder of The Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) before members of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing yesterday (June 23). As part of what has been described as ‘accelerated’ scrutiny of the legislation to underpin a revised grant scheme, which will include Clare and Limerick, Dr Martina Cleary addressed the committee on Thursday. The seven-hour process, which also heard from expert engineering witnesses and Department of Housing officials, falls short of full Pre-Legislative Scrutiny (PLS), which the government has avoided in a bid to pass the law before the summer recess. “On August 1, 2020, following a misdiagnosis by engineers, including those appointed by my insurance company, crumbling and rotting blocks were discovered behind the render of my small bungalow,” Dr Cleary told TDs and Senators. “In that moment my life changed, and the sustained nightmare of coming to terms with this began. The first shock was hearing from …

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Minister finally delivers for Clare, but concerns continue

NINE and a half months after a visit to Clare to see the damage caused by pyrite, Minister Darragh O’Brien announced this county’s inclusion in an updated grant scheme.  To secure inclusion, exhaustive technical detail was provided by the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) and Clare County Council. In addition to an original report submitted last July, further testing was required as well as scientific proof that was likened by experts to ‘finding a needle in a haystack’. While the breakthrough has been welcomed, CPAG and many of Clare’s Oireachtas members are adamant that there is a way to go to secure a grant that is fit for purpose. Specific concerns relate to eligibility criteria as well as the costs that the scheme will not cover. Members of the CPAG protested outside the Dáil over the terms of the General Scheme of the Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill, 2022. Minister O’Brien outlined the …

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Scrutiny issue of new blocks grant proves politically divisive

INTENSIVE efforts to ensure consultation on the new defective concrete blocks grant, which is to cover this county, have resulted in an agreement to hear from affected homeowners before legislation is finalised. The announcement from the Housing Committee falls short of full pre-legislative scrutiny (PLS), which had been sought by campaign groups, including that in Clare. However, it will mean that members of Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) are likely to get the opportunity to address the committee next week. It also means the legislation can be fast-tracked. The move follows a request by Deputy Joe Carey and two party colleagues to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing to engage in a PLS process. “With Deputy Kieran O’Donnell from Limerick and Deputy Joe McHugh from Donegal, I have written to the Chair of the Housing Committee seeking PLS,” Deputy Carey confirmed. “I have also asked Minister Darragh O’Brien to facilitate a full briefing for the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) …

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Clare homeowners to be included in new blocks grant scheme

CLARE homeowners affected by pyrite are to be given access to a State grant scheme, after a campaign of almost two years. Over the course of today (Tuesday, June 14), Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien will outline to Cabinet a new scheme for homes with defective concrete blocks. While the old scheme covered only Mayo and Donegal, Clare and Limerick will be included in the new grant. A general scheme for new primary legislation is being unveiled today. It is understood that a memo will follow next week, to seek approval for the publication of the legislation.  While the inclusion of Clare is a major milestone for campaigners in this county, concerns remain about the eligibility criteria for the new grant, as well as the provision for consultation before the underpinning law is drafted.  Senator Timmy Dooley gave a cautious welcome to the development. “Getting Clare included in the scheme is a first step and a welcome one,” he said. …

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Expert says pyrite link to Clare homes damage ‘incontrovertible’

AN EXPERT engineer has described the causative link between pyrite and the cracking of affected homes in Clare as “abundantly clear, categoric and incontrovertible”. Simon Beale and Associates sent a detailed report on behalf of Clare County Council to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH), last month. The documentation, seen by The Champion runs to over 1,000 pages. It was compiled on foot of queries raised in December by the DHLGH over the original report submitted last July to make the case for Clare’s inclusion on the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme. In his latest report, Mr Beale noted the the Department had “requested that Clare County Council demonstrate the link between the building damage and defective concrete blockwork by showing clear evidence of oxidation of pyrite to form other minerals, the presence of secondary minerals and gypsum production”. As part of the process of responding to the DHLGH, five homes owned by Clare County Council, located …

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Pyrite confirmed in ‘significant’ public building in Clare

PYRITE has been confirmed a significant public building in Clare, owned by the Office of Public Works (OPW).  Deputy Joe Carey tabled a number of Parliamentary Questions (PQ) in relation to public buildings with defective concrete blocks and to-date has received just one response. That came, last week, from the Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, Patrick O’Donovan.  While the identity of the building in question was not disclosed, it is understood to be in the south of the county. “Pyrite has been detected in one building in the ownership of the Office of Public Works (OPW)  in County Clare,” Minister O’Donovan stated in this reply. “A routine inspection earlier this year raised concerns in respect to cracking observed in the external façade. The OPW appointed external consultants to investigate the cause of this cracking and the consultant’s report has confirmed the presence of pyrite in the external leaf of the building.” The minister’s response said that “further …

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Over 1,000 Clare homes could be affected by pyrite

MORE than 1,000 homes in Clare could have pyrite, new research shows, with Newmarket-on-Fergus the worst hit area.  A study unveiled by Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) chairperson, Dr Martina Cleary, estimates that 1,025 homes and 11 public and private buildings have defective blocks. A survey of 90 members of the CPAG, shows affected homes in 38 locations. Seven of these are in Newmarket. Drumline, Ennis, Kilkee, Kilrush and Sixmilebridge have five homes each. There are four properties in Cratloe, with the same number in Feakle, Kilkishen and Shannon. Clonlara, Crusheen, Inagh and Miltown each has three pyrite-affected properties. There are two in each of Doolin, Doonbeg, Fanore, Ennistymon, Quin and Tulla. The remaining 19 are dotted across Clare.  The findings were unveiled this week at a conference on the impact of defective blocks, hosted by the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS). The data shows that 17 private housing estates are affected and five Council developments.  Respondents were also …

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