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*Clare TD, Joe Carey (FG) with Mary Hanley & Brid Devanney of the Clare Pyrite Action Group on Kildare St.

PRE-LEGISLATIVE SCRUTINY is essential before further progress is made on the Defective Concrete Block Scheme, a Clare TD has stressed.

On Tuesday last, Clare and Limerick were included in an expanded Defective Concrete Block Scheme valued at €2.7bn.

Members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group demonstrated outside Leinster House on Wednesday as they led the call for pre-legislative scrutiny. Presently, 90 people are registered with the Action Group, many of which are living in housing estates. The Action Group have calculated that 17 private housing estates and 1,125 houses are affected by pyrite.

“There is something very wrong that the biggest grant in the history of the State appears to be going through without pre-legislative scrutiny,” founder of the Action Group, Dr Martina Cleary told The Clare Echo.

Clare TD, Joe Carey (FG) has backed the pleas for pre-legislative scrutiny to take place on legislation around the new scheme. He acknowledged the Action Group, Clare County Council and engineer Simon Beale, “their work illustrated without any doubt that pyrite is present in the concrete blocks of homes throughout the county”.

He stated, “It’s important that the legislation is fit for purpose and therefore properly scrutinised so that people can finally move on from the nightmare of watching their houses crumbling because of defective concrete blocks. Having worked with so many householders around the county, I fully appreciate how difficult a time this has been for them”.

Under the new legislation, grants of up to 100 per cent of rebuilding costs subject to an overall maximum of €420,000 per dwelling are provided. The Clare Echo understands that the sliding scale proposed last November has been shelved. The grants will be based on the construction cost report prepared by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland. The Alternative accommodation and storage costs and immediate repair works are now to be facilitated to a maximum value of €25,000 within the overall grant cap.

“While exempt development status under planning legislation for remediation works will be afforded to works carried out under the defective concrete blocks grant scheme on a like for like basis. These are all welcome measures but the devil will be in the detail of the scheme,” Deputy Carey added.

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