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20/09/2021

Limerick homeowners impacted by pyrite ‘forced to use silicone glue to prevent draughts’

Limerick homeowners impacted by pyrite ‘forced to use silicone glue to prevent draughts’

The damage pyrite can do to a home is evidenced here

HOMEOWNERS in West Limerick are being forced to use silicone glue to prevent draughts in their pyrite-hit houses, a councillor has claimed.

At a special Adare-Rathkeale district meeting this month, members were told that there had yet to be any appointment of inspectors to assess houses which may qualify for funding from government.

It was last year when Limerick householders who homes were damaged by pyrite could formally apply for grants for works to remedy the damage following a move by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien.

But inspectors are yet to be put in place to assess claims, something  that was met with “shock, amazement and criticism” by Fianna Fail councillor Kevin Sheahan.

“I have said as chairman this item should remain on the agenda until we see movement. In other words, we want an update at our September meeting – and that means we want action,” Cllr Sheahan said.

He said he expects council to put in place someone with the qualifications of at least an engineer.

“That person should visit these properties and decide which if not all of them have suffered from this pyrite issue. I have seen two of them myself – one is in an atrocious condition. One of them is outrageous. When you use silicone to block out the draft coming in, it’s awful,” he said.

He said for homeowners, pyrite damage is “more than heartbreaking”.

“It must prey on people’s nerves quite a lot. If I was livng in one of the homes in particular and saw a heavy storm being threatened, I would genuinely be living in fear of one of the gable ends of my home coming in on top of me,” he said.

There are believed to be well in excess of 20,000 properties in Ireland which are contaminated with pyrite back-fill.

This  takes place when the material oxidises after it comes into contact with air and moisture.

Through a chemical reaction the back-fill will expand and structurally damage the foundations, floors and walls in the house.

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