Dublin Fianna Fáil Senator Darragh O’Brien has condemned the Government for its continued failure to publish a report into the pyrite problem that is affecting thousands of homes.
The Taoiseach has told the Dáil that the Minister for the Environment has the report and will bring it to government in the next two weeks and it will be published thereafter.
Senator O’Brien said: “Fourteen times in the last two months I have raised the issue of pyrite and the lack of action from the Government on the matter and there is still not clarity. There are potentially over 70,000 houses affected by pyrite. They are predominantly in Dublin and on the east coast in the greater Dublin area. I have visited many houses affected by pyrite and many of them are unsafe and uninhabitable.
“The houses are valueless but their owners must pay their mortgages. HomeBond has washed its hands of the issue. The Government has put together an expert group that was supposed to report in February, then it was March, then April and then May. We may get the report before the end of July but there is not guarantee.
“The families who are effectively trapped in these homes have told me that there houses are unsafe, with cracks in the walls the size of a fist, where they cannot use the bathroom, where they are paying mortgages of €1,500 and €2,000 per month yet they have no recourse to anyone.
“I have consistently pointed out that the longer the delay the more people will become statute barred and they will not have recourse to the courts. The average remediation cost for a standard three bedroom house is €30,000. Of the 72,500 houses estimated to be affected only 700 houses, or 1%, have been remediated which was due to a court case taken by a builder against the quarries.
“The Government has failed to act and Fianna Fáil is prepared to do what this government should have done. I will shortly bring forward special legislation in order to give real support to people affected by pyrite. It will ensure that the timeframe on the statute of limitations does not kick-in until there has been a independent verified report carried out on a specific property confirming that it is affected by pyrite. This will ensure people are given the necessary time to solve their difficulties with the support of the State.”