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Saturday 30 August 2014

It's demolition day as houses come tumbling down due to pyrite

Mark O'Regan and Elaine Keogh

Published 21/06/2014 | 02:30

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One of the houses in Drogheda, Co Louth, being demolished. Ciara Wilkinson

TEN houses infected with pyrite have been demolished.

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Demolition work began yesterday on six houses in Moneymore, Drogheda. Earlier this month, some of the walls in the Co Louth scheme were found to be so badly infected that the basic structure of the buildings were judged to be unsound.

Pyrite is a mineral which in certain conditions causes serious damage to the type of cement block used in house construction. Cracks can appear signalling major damage to the basic structure of a building.

The houses were built by the North and East Housing Association (NEHA) on Louth County Council land. Earlier this month it was confirmed that some of the blocks used in the construction of the semi-detached homes "were found to be infected".

The NEHA said a decision will be made on the condition of the remaining 19 houses in the scheme in a matter of weeks. They have all been tested for pyrite.

Heavy equipment, including bulldozers, were used in the demolition of the damaged buildings yesterday.

Parts of the basic structures – including doors windows and solar panels – were saved for future use.

It is hoped the social housing scheme will be rebuilt in 2015.

Rebuilt

Houses infected with pyrite were also demolished in south Dublin earlier this week. The four and five-bed units at Seaview Park in Shankill are being rebuilt because of the defective blocks. The development consists of two detached five-bedroom houses and two semi-detached four-bed homes.

A spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council said: "The demolition of the houses was the builder's decision following consultation with the block supplier and Building Control engineers.

"The site will continue to be monitored".

Irish Independent

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