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*Mary Hanley shows the damage to her home in Drumline, Newmarket-on-Fergus. Photograph: Joe Buckley

“IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE” of widespread pyrite in Co Clare has been detailed in a new report.

Ballina based, Simon Beale and Associates have concluded their report into pyrite in Clare and in all ten samples tested, evidence of pyrite has been discovered. The report, therefore, states that irrefutable evidence of pyrite issues have been found in this county and that Clare should be included in the redress scheme.

As part of the latest report, five properties owned by Clare County Council were tested and proven to have pyrite present in the blocks. Homes belonging to members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group were previously tested prior to the submission of a Council application last July to the Department of Housing for Clare’s inclusion in a redress scheme.

On Friday, a briefing between representatives of the Clare Pyrite Action Group, senior officials in Clare County Council, the county’s TDs and the Mayo based engineering consultants took place where the findings of the latest report were outlined. Evidence of sulphate attack was also uncovered in the testing. Between 350-620 homes are now affected in Clare with estimates from the Pyrite Action Group that this figure is much higher.

Founder of the Pyrite Action Group, Dr Martina Cleary stated, “There is irrefutable evidence of pyrite and secondary materials in the blocks. They have absolutely located and identified everything that the Minister and the Department have requested”. She acknowledged that the testing last year also showed “irrefutable evidence” as per IS465 standards.

Dr Cleary was adamant a swift response was needed this time round from the Department, “If the Department do not accept this, we will have a very serious issue”. She added, “The last report that went in was July, it was almost six months later by the time the Department responded to that submission and came back saying they wanted more evidence, we can’t be waiting this time”.

Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) felt the report showed in no uncertain terms the necessity to include the county in the redress scheme as they are no different to homeowners in Donegal and Mayo, “this second round of testing has proved, without a doubt, that there is pyrite in defective concrete blocks in Co. Clare”.

“I hope that a fresh application for redress with now be lodged with Minister Darragh O’Brien in the quickest possible time and I pledge to work energetically and proactively to ensure that redress happens for Clare homeowners on the best possible terms. In particular, I will be insisting to Minister O’Brien that redress happens for Clare homeowners in the same timeframe as those in Donegal and Mayo. We need to be in the starting blocks at the same time as those homeowners,” Deputy Crowe said.

Crowe was confident Minster for Housing, Darragh O’Brien (FF) would “live up to his promise” issued to members of the Pyrite Action Group outside the home of Mary Hanley in Newmarket-on-Fergus in August. “The Minister assured Mary and other pyrite homeowners that he would do everything possible to deliver redress for them. I am certain that Minister O’Brien will live up to this promise”.

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