Saturday 21 April 2018

Families in pyrite homes are 'unaware of redress'

Deputy Ruth Coppinger. Pic. Tom Burke.
Deputy Ruth Coppinger. Pic. Tom Burke.

Sam Griffin

THOUSANDS of families whose homes are affected by pyrite are unaware of a scheme to repair houses damaged by the mineral, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

Just over 600 homes have so far applied for the €10m State-funded programme, which was set up in February last year.

The Pyrite Resolution Board updated the Oireachtas Environment committee on how the scheme is progressing, and said it had received 632 applications by the end of last month.

Of these, 485 applications have been validated and 328 included in the redress scheme.

However, work has only been completed on five dwellings since last February, with another 73 at tendering stage.

Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger said she was aware of far more houses affected by pyrite than the 630 homes that have applied, and said many people were unaware of the problem, while others living in council-owned homes could not access remediation independently.

"Would you recognise that (632 applications) has to be an absolute drop in the ocean of the pyrite problem in this country because there have been various estimates of anything between 10,000 and 20,000 - I don't think they're overestimates," she said.

The board's chairman John O'Connor said the authority was receiving a "trickle" of around three applications a week now and was surprised by the low number.

He said there was no deadline on when homes needed to apply to the scheme.

Earlier this month, Junior Minister Paudie Coffey announced that around 20 homes in Dún Laoghaire and south Dublin would be added after problems associated with pyrite were discovered.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section