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Families may have to move after new estate is found with pyrite

A DUBLIN councillor has called for Government intervention after saying pyrite was used in the construction of yet another housing estate.

Fingal representative Ruth Coppinger revealed that county council homes in Dromheath in Dublin 15 contained the faulty building material.

Speaking to the Herald, she said she was informed of the situation by an official from the council.

Ms Coppinger said the houses affected are in the newer part of the development, which was built as an infill project in the last five or six years.

"People are living there. I'm not even sure the council has informed them. The council may have to rehouse people while we fix it," she added.

The Mulhuddart councillor said the Government needs to set up a scheme to help people if it turns out that structural defect insurer HomeBond cannot cover them.

In a motion to Fingal officials, Ms Coppinger asked the council to outline the extent of the pyrite problem in Castlecurragh and Dromheath, both in Dublin 15.

She also wants to know how the local authority "proposes to deal with this problem for its tenants" and how residents can get redress.

When contacted, the council said it would not be commenting on the issue until after Ms Coppinger's motion is dealt with next month.



Positive

Three years ago, several homes in Castlecurragh in Dublin 15, an estate of mostly social and affordable houses, tested positive for the presence of pyrite.

The estate of more than 700 houses and apartments has 190 private units and about 530 social and affordable homes and was built between 2001 and 2003.

The problem came to light in the summer of 2007 when large cracks emerged in about 40 houses in the Drynam Hall estate in Kinsealy, built by Menolly Homes three years previously.

Further tests on houses in Drynam Hall were carried out as well as at other Menolly developments, at Beaupark in Clongriffin and Myrtle in Baldoyle.

Remedial work to fix damaged houses involves digging up the floor, removing the stone infill and replacing it with pyrite-free infill.

Any structural damage is also repaired and the floor and wall surfaces are restored.

One resident in Beaupark, Clongriffin, described previously how parts of her home were literally crumbling around her.

Pyrite was present in the stone infill used by developers, Menolly Homes and Killoe Developments, to build the estate.

Menolly agreed to foot the cost of repairing the damage to properties they constructed.

comurphy@herald.ie