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Saturday 1 November 2014

Minister urged to act now on pyrite crisis

SEPTEMBER DEADLINE FOR SOLUTIONS HAS LONG PASSED

JOHN MANNING

Published 13/11/2012 | 12:54

Pyrite repair works taking place at Talbot Hall in Swords earlier this year.

BALBRIGGAN Town Council has called for an urgent solution to the pyrite crisis so that the many affected home owners in Balbriggan can repair their crumbling homes.

Cllr. Gráinne Maguire (NP) and Cllr. Terry Kelleher (SP) both proposed motions at this month's meeting of the town council calling on the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan to treat the pyrite crisis with greater urgency. The minister set the end of September as the deadline for the construction, insurance and quarry industries to come up with a solution and establish a fund for affected home-owners or risk an imposed solution from Government but so far, neither that industry solution or Government-imposed solution have been put forward. Cllr. Kelleher called on the minister to 'immediately impose a solution which forces those responsible for the crisis to contribute to an agreed fund that would be used to repair and redeem houses with pyrite'.

Cllr. Maguire said: ' People are in a serious situation in our town and they are looking for help and they are not getting help.' She said there were homes in the area in a ' deplorable state' due to pyrite infestation and homeowners needed someone to take responsibility for the crisis and 'put their houses right'. Cllr. Peadar O'Kelly (Lab) said that the crisis was proving to be a ' terrible burden' on affected families and was a ' human tragedy' and said that the people responsible for the crisis were 'side-stepping the issue'.

Cllr. Dermot Murray (FF) who raised the issue at previous meetings of the town council said that people were living in houses that were 'falling down around their ears' and the crisis had to be addressed 'sooner rather than later'. Cllr. Monica Harford (Lab) said this was a safety issue for families and the minister had to take responsibility for finding a solution while Cathaoirleach of the town council, Cllr. Larry Dunne (FG) said that a remedy had to be found for people 'in houses that are verging on being unfit for human habitation'.

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