Pyrite campaigners demand funding

Thu, Oct 18, 2012, 01:00

A campaign group has called on the Government to facilitate upfront funding for homeowners living in pyrite-damaged houses.

In July Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan told stakeholders, including the Construction Industry Federation, the Irish Concrete Federation and home guarantee provider Homebond they had until the end of September to come up with proposals to fund repairs to houses affected by pyrite. Otherwise, he said, he would be forced to impose a levy on the industry.

This morning members of The Pyrite Action Group, demonstrating outside Leinster House, said stakeholders have refused to fund any repairs. “So now really the ball is firmly back in Phil Hogan’s court,” Sandra Lewis, Secretary of the group said. “We’re here to keep putting the pressure on.”

Pyrite, a naturally occurring mineral, was included in hard-core used in the foundations of some homes. When exposed to air or water it became unstable and caused structural damage in the homes, including cracking and buckling of walls and floors.

The group’s chairman, Peter Lewis, added: “We’re here today basically to remind people that the pyrite issue is very much alive. People’s homes are still crumbling and falling apart.”

He said the group planned to observe a Dáil discussion on the pyrite issue to see if any new solutions had been proposed since the publication of a report in July.

But a long-term solution would not be acceptable without upfront funding. “We need our homes fixed now, we need them remediated now. The longer this goes on the more damage that will occur to those homes and the more it will cost to actually fix them.”