herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Department of Environment blames FF for pyrite homes

Helen Farrelly pictured at home in Lusk village where she has a pyrite problem in her home
Helen Farrelly pictured at home in Lusk village where she has a pyrite problem in her home

THE Environment Department has taken a swipe at Fianna Fail for highlighting the low number of pyrite filled homes that have been repaired.

The party's North Dublin-based Senator Darragh O'Brien said the new figures show that just five houses out of 677 have had the problem resolved this year.

"Many families whose homes are literally falling apart with pyrite have yet to receive any support whatsoever from the State," he said.

However, an Environment spokesman hit back with a blistering attack saying Mr O'Brien's comments were "typical" of Fianna Fail.

"They ignored the pyrite problem while in government.

"This Government established the Pyrite Resolution Board and allocated funding to deal with the problem effectively cleaning up the Fianna Fail mess," a department spokesman said.

Mr O'Brien responded to the attack last night.

"I am not interesting in scoring political points here, this is too important. This is about ending the terrible state of limbo these families find themselves in, and the delays are simply not acceptable," Mr O'Brien told the Herald.

materials

A total of 677 homeowners have applied to have their houses fixed after they were built witt materials contaminated by the crack-causing mineral pyrite.

According to the Department of the Environment, the five homes that have been fixed are part of a pilot project. A further 342 dwellings have engineers assigned to them and preparatory work, tendering or remediation itself is underway or imminent, the spokesman said.

Helen Farrelly, of Huntsmans Road in Lusk, said that she hasn't been able to sell her home because of pyrite damage, which she says "wasn't bad enough" to be accepted by the Pyrite Resolutions Board scheme.

"I am literally here watching it getting worse in front of my eyes," she said. "The cracks in the walls are just getting bigger and there is no solution for me," she said.

She was told by the board that if damage in her home "progressed" she might apply again for the scheme.

hnews@herald.ie

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