Pyrite remediation to cost estimated €230m by 2026, figures show

Scheme for those affected by mica and defective blocks could cost State more than €3.65bn

Remediating buildings with pyrite is to cost the State an estimated €230 million by 2026, according to the latest Government figures.

Last October the Department of Housing provided a summary to the Department of Finance on the issues around building the regulatory system, including actions taken to address issues, pursuit of wrongdoers, the likely overall cost of the defects schemes and the impact of the proposed concrete levy on construction costs.

The summary, released to The Irish Times under Freedom of Information legislation, details the estimated costs of the three Government remediation schemes, which are for properties affected by pyrite, defective concrete blocks or mica and Celtic Tiger-era defects.

On the issue of pyrite, the summary said it is estimated that up to 4,000 dwellings may be eligible for remediation under the Pyrite Remediation Act 2014 “at an estimated cost of approximately €230 million by 2026″.


“It is unlikely that applications will cease entirely after 2026 but it is expected that they will reduce at a gradual rate thereafter and that the annual spend will drop significantly year on year,” the summary said.

For those affected by mica and defective blocks, the summary said it was estimated that up to 7,500 dwellings may be eligible for grant assistance under the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, at an estimated cost of €2.15 billion. However, the summary said that the figure is “excluding any provision for inflation”. Cabinet members were warned in July that if inflation continued at the same rate, the bill could top €3.65 billion .

The third scheme is for Celtic Tiger-era defects found in apartments and duplexes constructed between 1991 and 2013.

Affecting between 62,500 and 100,000 dwellings, the average cost of undertaking the remediation of defects is likely to be approximately €25,000 per apartment or duplex, the summary states. “This translates into a potential overall total remediation cost ranging from approximately €1.56 billion to €2.5 billion,” it said.

Cabinet last week approved plans for up to 100,000 owners of defective apartments or duplexes to get financial support from the State for the full cost of repairing their properties.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said people who have already had their properties repaired will also be able to seek the full cost of the work as the support will be retrospective.

The plans were welcomed by campaigners, but groups representing those with pyrite and mica criticised the pace of action on the schemes affecting their homes.

A statement from homeowner representatives in Mayo, Donegal, Limerick and Clare said: “There is now a real concern that those suffering in defective concrete homes are being deprioritised, while the Department of Housing deals with additional crises.”

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is a reporter for The Irish Times