Pyrite used in road construction, TD told


ROADS AUTHORITY LETTER:THE CHIEF executive of the National Roads Authority has written to a TD to inform him that pyrite was used in the construction of the M3 motorway in Co Meath.

In his letter to Fine Gael TD Shane McEntee, roads authority chief executive Fred Barry said that “as far as we are aware,” the pyrite was used as filling for embankments.

Mr Barry also told Mr McEntee that “there is no use that we are aware of [of pyrite] as structural fill and the material complied with specifications for the purposes for which it was used.”

Mr McEntee, who is Fine Gael spokesman on road safety, is boycotting today’s official opening ceremony, after which the 60km long route will open to traffic, due to the controversy over pyrite.

The use of pyrite in some houses in Dublin and Meath has left homeowners with major structural problems because it is a mineral that expands in the presence of oxygen and moisture.

It is the stretch between Clonee in Meath and the toll plaza at Black Bull near Ratoath that Mr McEntee is concerned about.

“I want the Minister for Transport to have the materials used there tested. In 10 years’ time, I do not want to be a Deputy or a former Deputy who knew about what was happening.”

He said the embankments were the on and off ramps to the motorway.

In his letter, which Mr McEntee received yesterday, Mr Barry said: “In so far as we are aware the use of pyrite-bearing rock for the construction of the M3 was primarily as embankment fill, with some use as roads base.”

Mr McEntee welcomed the letter from Mr Barry, saying: “I am happy that the truth has come out that the pyrite material was used in the making in the road.”