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Over 10,000 homes could harbour unidentified pyrite problems

A new report commissioned by the government has revealed the extent of the problem in estate across five local authority areas.

File image of a house affected by pyrite
File image of a house affected by pyrite
Image: Photocall Ireland

HOMES IN FINGAL, Meath, Dublin city, Kildare and Offaly in 74 housing estates have all been identified as being at risk from pyrite contamination, according to a new report published this afternoon.

The report, put together by a independent panel established by Environment Minister Phil Hogan, reveals that 10,300 have been identified as possible candidates for contamination.

Earlier this week Senator Darragh O’Brien, who is behind a bill seeking more time for homeowners to seek remediation for pyrite, said that 72,000 homes could potentially be affected.

Of 12,250 ground floor dwellings in the 74 identified estates that could potentially have been affected 850 dwellings currently have a claim with a guaranteed provider, and a further 1,100 have had their claims processed.

That leaves 10,300 dwellings which Minister Hogan said “represent the maximum estimated future potential exposure to pyrite problems”.

The only current solution for homes affected by pyrite is removal of the material, and replacement. The typical cost for an average house is around €45,000.

Affected dwellings are to be categorised by a traffic light system while a review of the statute of limitations pertaining to the remediation process has also been recommended.

Pyrite is a mineral compound that naturally occurs in rock, swells and produces crystals when in contact with oxygen and moisture. During the boom, infill containing high levels of pyrite was used in the construction of buildings.

The report proposes that a Pyrite Resolution Board should be established for those homeowners who fail in other courses of remediation, and that the banks should be instrumental in aiding homeowners to gain access to necessary finance.

An information helpline has been established at 1890 800 800, while people can email queries to pyriteinformation@environ.ie

Pyrite bill to be introduced next week>

Column: We’re watching our first house crumble before our eyes>

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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