Deputy Jackie Cahill: ‘ I have seen first-hand the impact of this issue on a family and their home’
Tipperary has not escaped from the ongoing mica / pyrite controversy that has struck thousands of homes in the north-west of the country, according to Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill.
He said that houses affected by mica / pyrite were crumbling due to defects in their building blocks, forcing thousands of people and many young families to leave their condemned homes.
Thousands had taken to the streets of Dublin in recent months calling for a full redress for all mica / pyrite affected homes, so that those affected, through no fault of their own, can rebuild their homes without suffering further financial losses.
The Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary has confirmed that he has visited one such property in Tipperary and seen for himself the impact on a family home affected by pyrite. The concrete blocks effectively crumble when they come in contact with moisture, Deputy Cahill learned.
He said that he had made contact with the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, and the chief executive of Tipperary County Council, Joe MacGrath, stating that any affected houses in Tipperary must also be covered under the redress scheme, that currently only extends to the Donegal and Mayo.
“I recently visited a house in the north of the county impacted by pyrite and I have seen first-hand the impact of this issue on a family and their home.
“They have had to fully rebuild three of the four corners of the house in order to prevent it from collapsing. Various sections of the original walls also had to be cut out and taken away for testing,” he said.
Deputy Cahill said that during the testing phase, the family had told him how the external wall would crumble away to dust if the dog stood next to it and wagged its tail
“If that doesn’t give a clear image of how serious this issue is, then I don’t know what will,” he said.
The Thurles TD said that the family had sent blocks to the UK to be tested, but had to mark them as fragile, as if they were glass, so that they would not disintegrate into a pile of dust during transport.
“This is extremely serious and concerning,” he said.
Deputy Cahill said that it was clear to him that Tipperary County Council will have to ensure that any house in Tipperary affected by mica / pyrite was covered under the State redress scheme.
In order for this to happen, the local authority must write to the Department of Housing requesting this.
“I have made contact with both Joe MacGrath in Tipperary County Council and Minister Darragh O’Brien stating that it is only natural justice that every house affected by mica or pyrite in Tipperary be included under the redress scheme, like any other county,” he said.
While Tipperary had only one confirmed case that he had personally visited and have seen evidence that pyrite was present, he was very much aware that other such properties might be affected in Tipperary.
“As such, anyone affected by this very serious issue should feel free to contact me and I will do all I can to ensure the people of Tipperary affected by this are heard loud and clear,” he said.
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