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Two local authority built estates are believed to contain Pyrite defective blocks heightening concern that the issue in Co Clare is much bigger than anticipated.

A study of the likely extent of the problem within Clare was undertaken by Clare County Council in January of this year following a request by Deputy Michael McNamara (IND) to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for Clare to be included in a 100% fully funded Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme.

It has now emerged that two estates built by the County Council are compromised. The Clare Echo understands that they are located in Ennis and North Clare.

Deputy McNamara has expressed concern that the number of homes in the county affected by Pyrite defective blocks is much bigger than initially thought. “Dozens of private houses in Clare have been found to be essentially crumbling a result of defective concrete blocks. Owners have had engineers examine the dwellings and it has been found that it is as a result of pyrite in the concrete,” he stated.

Clare County Council is currently analysing test data from five private properties potentially affected by pyrite. While the full results are expected at the end of June, the present indication is that pyrite is present in the blockwork of these homes. The local authority has confirmed to McNamara that two local authority built estates may be effected. Further testing will be completed in the coming days.

Both of the estates in question were part of the Council’s stock condition survey during 2018 and up until recently showed no sign of structural problems. Tender documents have been issued to six qualified consultant engineers by the County Council. The final report on the scale of the problem in Clare is due to be issued to the Department by the third quarter of 2021.

As a result of the detection, the Scariff TD said the scale of the problem is likely to be “much greater than initially believed.”

McNamara is hopeful the Council survey will result in a fully funded Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme being extended to Clare.

“If the Government saw fit to fund a scheme like this in respect of Mayo and Donegal, I see no reason whatsoever why Clare constituents and any other householders in the country who suffer from the same problem should not be treated in exactly the same way by the Government. It is a matter of basic equality. It is critical however, as has been called for by campaign groups protesting in Dublin today, that any future scheme be 100% fully funded. I look forward to Clare County making its submission to the Department that could lead to an improved scheme being extended to Clare,” Deputy McNamara concluded.

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