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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Whole of pyrite 'infected' estate may be knocked

Elaine Keogh

Published 10/06/2014 | 02:30

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BUILDERS who had constructed 25 new homes for people on a council housing list have removed doors, windows and any other reusable items as six of the houses were demolished because they contain pyrite.

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Tony Gilmore, a director of the North and East Housing Association (NEHA), who are providing the houses on land owned by Louth County Council at Moneymore, Drogheda, confirmed that some of the blocks used to build walls in six of the semi-detached houses "were found to be infected".

Pyrite, a natural mineral found in stone, becomes unstable when exposed to air or water. It has caused cracking, splitting and buckling of walls, floors and ceilings in an estimated 12,000 homes nationwide.

A more extensive report on the remaining 19 houses in the scheme is expected later this week. It's findings will determine if the remaining houses will also face demolition before being rebuilt.

Local councillor Imelda Munster said: "This is a devastating blow when there are 1,624 people on the housing list in Drogheda."

Bridget Gaffney, who has lived in the estate for 33 years, said: "It is terrible to hear of this when there are people waiting for housing. They were such lovely looking houses and everybody is entitled to have a house."

Mr Gilmore said the NEHA hoped to have the replacement units ready next year.

Irish Independent

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