€10m boost for pyrite repair fund welcomed

by Gazette Reporter

FURTHER funding for a pyrite remediation scheme was announced earlier this month by Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan.
With €10m in funding allocated last October to repair homes damaged by the material, this announcement brings funding levels up to €20m, to date.
This should prove to be welcome news for many residents of Fingal, as the pyrite problem has been particularly prevalent across the area.
Housing estates in Malahide, Balbriggan, Rush, Kinsealy, Clongriffin, Baldoyle and Lusk have been affected by the mineral, causing distress to hundreds of families, whose homes began to fall apart before their eyes.
Many have reported cracks in the floors and in the walls, with tiles shifting out of alignment and doors jamming in their frames.
Some of the estates affected include Drynam Hall, between Swords and Kinsealy; Beaupark estate in Clongriffin; Moylaragh in Balbriggan and The Coast in Baldoyle.
A spokesperson from the Department of the Environment said that there is no set amount of funds distributed per area.
The Pyrite Resolution Board is still currently accepting applications, and the funding allocated will depend on how many successful applicants from the Fingal area apply.
Deputy Alan Farrell (FG) welcomed the announcement, saying: “The increase in funding to the pyrite remediation scheme is a positive step in tackling this issue and helping homeowners throughout the country, and particularly in Fingal, [where] homes have been affected by pyrite.
“The scheme, which is run under the Pyrite Resolution Board, will, as a result [of the funding boost], now have significant levels of funding to ensure it can continue its work in providing remediation to homeowners whose homes have been affected by pyritic heave into 2015.
“Furthermore, this scheme will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in order to ensure that funding requirements post-2015 can be provided,” he said.
“As a homeowner whose house was affected by pyrite, I have been campaigning on this issue, and will continue to do so, to bring a resolution for all homeowners who have been impacted by this.
“This funding increase will help to ensure more homeowners receive remediation in the near future; however, many more still face a long wait.
“The Pyrite Resolution Board has estimated that the number of homes which require immediate remediation is in the region of 1,000 homes.
“As of mid-April, the board had received 418 completed applications, with more homeowners still completing the application process.
“I hope that the news that funding to the pyrite remediation scheme is to be increased from the initial investment of €10m to €20m over the next two years will bring hope to affected homeowners and reassure them that there is a solution to this issue.
“I will continue to work with Minister Hogan, and I will not stop working on this issue until this situation is resolved for every person who lives in a pyrite-affected home,” said Deputy Farrell.
Councillor-elect Justin Sinnott (Ind) has commended the Government for taking on the issue but has expressed his concerns about the level of funding provided.
He said: “Kudos to the Government – to be fair, they have taken on the issue.
“While I welcome it, the only thing I would worry about is the level of funding. It is important that enough funds are provided because, as time goes on, I think more and more problems are going to be discovered.”

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