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Wednesday 29 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
James Horan/Photocall Ireland
# Pyrite
Pyrite bill to be introduced next week
The new bill would give homeowners more time to bring a case about pyrite in their homes to court.

A BILL THAT would give homeowners more time to seek remediation for pyrite in their homes is to be introduced next week.

Senator Darragh O’Brien is the man behind the bill and told that he will introduce it next week.

He said that 72,000 houses are potentially affected by pyrite on the east coast, with the pyrite-affected brick coming from three quarries.

“We know the three quarries affected,” he said, as research has been carried out into the pyrite. “We are able to track the areas where it has been used.”

The news comes as the Irish Times reports today that houses in the Carton and Owensilla areas of Ballymun were tested for pyrite recently, with pyrite suspected to be present in 140 homes.

Tip of the iceberg

O’Brien described the situation at the moment as the ”tip of iceberg”. He added that he is waiting for the Government to publish its report into the issue.

“I have a bill that effectively is an amendment to the statute of limitations act 1957,” he said of the Home Remediation Bill (Pyrite).

The longer this drags on, the more and more people will be barred under the statute of limitations and won’t have recourse.

The statute of limitations is currently six years from when the homeowner discovers that they have problems with pyrite in their home.

If someone goes to court, and the judge says to them when did you think this started happening… and some people are saying early 2004, the judge can say ‘well look, sorry, statute of limitations is six years – you have no recourse. What my bill will do is say the statute of limitations only starts when the individual gets an independent official pyrite test that confirms you have pyrite. Most people haven’t got those tests done.

The date of the official confirmation of pyrite would be the date that the statue starts, explained O’Brien. “It would be buying a lot more time to deal with it.”

He added that the issue is who is going to pay for the remediation of the homes.  O’Brien said HomeBond has “washed their hands” of the situation, and that “we are going to fight that”.

“It’s a big grey area,” he said. “Thousands of houses are affected in north Dublin.”

“HomeBond won’t pay for remediation. They say it’s nothing to do with them,” continued O’Brien. “We have no class actions here – you can’t bring a class action suit.”

He said homeowners are “waiting and waiting for the government report to say what are the recommendations”.

Because they keep dragging their feet, I am going ahead to publish [the bill]. At least that will buy us more time.

He added that a number of people have responsibility for the situation, including banks, surveyors who signed off on the houses and the local authorities.

“I can’t see for what reason the government would oppose it,” O’Brien said of his bill. “It would buy them more time too.”

I think this bill will help the government. I’m not asking them to spend any money. I’m giving people a level playing pitch.

Read: HomeBond ‘snub’ over pyrite a ‘matter of serious public concern’ – Committee>

Read: Did Hogan appoint a HomeBond official to a State board?

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