Saturday 25 October 2014

Homes 'not eligible' for pyrite scheme

Published 24/03/2014 | 02:30

HOMEOWNERS whose homes are crumbling due to pyrite have been told they are not eligible for a government remediation scheme because the unstable material is present in the blocks of their home and not the foundations.

Up to 25 homes in the Erris peninsula in Co Mayo have been left severely damaged as a result of crumbling pyrite. Homes in Belmullet and Curtlagh West are among those affected. The damage has also been noted in two local authority estates in Pullathomas and Carratigue.

While the damage is expected to be corrected in the local council estates, private homeowners have been told they are not eligible for the Pyrite Remediation Scheme.

A number of homeowners now fear they will have to leave their homes as the damage worsens. A number of those affected held a meeting with officials from the Department of the Environment recently but they have been told they could not apply under the state scheme, as the pyrite was in the blocks and not the foundations.

Local Fine Gael councillor Gerry Coyle said local families were concerned that they would be left with worthless homes.

"We know of 24 homes that are affected, but there could be many more. They'll have to leave their homes if this continues. Some of these houses are literally falling apart. I call them the Weetabix blocks, you can crush them with your fingers," he said.

Mr Coyle now wants to see more stringent tests placed on quarries to ensure that no further pyrite material is being inadvertently supplied to builders.

STRINGENT

Structural damage as a result of pyrite first hit the headlines when more than 1,200 homes in Dublin and the surrounding regions were found to be crumbling as a result of the material. One of the most famous cases was in the condemned Priory Hall in Dublin.

Irish Independent

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