Home » Breaking News » ‘We don’t have ten years to wait,’ homeowners tell minister
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, checks out the Pyrite damage at the home of Seamus and Mary Hanley of Drumline during his visit there where he also met members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group. Photograph by John Kelly

‘We don’t have ten years to wait,’ homeowners tell minister

A RETIRED Drumline couple have made an emotional appeal to the housing minister for funds to repair their severely cracked house, saying they don’t have a decade to wait.
Pensioners Mary and Séamus Hanley showed Darragh O’Brien the devastating impact of pyrite when he visited their home last Friday.
“Some of us, like myself, are on our pensions and we certainly don’t have forever to wait,”
Mrs Hanley said. “I don’t have ten years to wait. I could be six foot under, at that stage, but I want my house replaced and repaired.”
The retired school principal also told the minister of a number of former pupils in their 30s who have discovered pyrite in their homes.
Mrs Hanley was also among three members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group to have a meeting with the minister in relation to an application by the local authority to extend access of the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme.
The Hanley’s home was one of five where sampling was carried out as part of the technical report submitted by Clare County Council to the Department of Housing at the end of July.
The authority asked for the extension of the scheme and an increase in redress to 100%.
The house, which was built in the 1980s, was deemed to be in ‘Category Four’ for pyrite and demolition is recommended.
“I expect my officials to be back to Clare County Council in a matter of weeks,” Minister O’Brien said.
“And, we’ve no budgetary constraint this year. I committed, last year, in the Programme for Government in relation to this programme, both on defective block and an infill, it’s a multi annual programme.”
The minister acknowledged the amount of time required to remediate homes, but said the expertise has been developed.
“We’ve remediated about 2,500 homes, that’s taken ten years,” he outlined.
“The one silver lining on the cloud is that we have the expertise in the country to know how to deal with it.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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