We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


'Every room is just rotten': Video shows how pyrite destroyed this woman's home

Despite the obvious structural damage to the house, Ita Brennan cannot avail of the government’s remediation scheme.

Riggsdoes / YouTube

ITA BRENNAN BOUGHT this house in Ballycastle, Co Mayo, in 2004.

Three years ago she noticed a large crack appearing above the chimney and since then she has paid almost €6,000 for structural work to piece the house back together – to no avail.

The floors are caving in because of the weak foundations, there are massive cracks all throughout the house and the plaster has started to flake off the walls.

Speaking to this week, the woman said she decided last year that she could no longer live there. She moved to Dublin where she now lives with and takes care of her elderly father.

She is still paying her €70,000 mortgage but now feels there is no hope for what was once a beautiful home – part of a development of eight properties that won an architectural award when it was first constructed.

Brennan has also been told that she is not entitled to apply for the government’s pyrite remeditation scheme because Mayo is not included in the scheme.

“It’s like a condemned house,” she said. “Every room is rotten, it’s just rotten.”

I’ve spoken to the remediation board – the people manning the phones there. They’ve decided that only certain countries are to be included – maybe people in Mayo didn’t squawk enough.

It previously emerged that structural damage due to pyrite had been identified in a number of properties in Mayo, including some local authority developments. The county council said this year that it would carry out repair work on houses it is responsible for but private residents were told they could not avail of the government’s remediation scheme.

The reason given was that funding was restricted to homes where there has been significant subfloor damage due to pyrite.

Many homeowners living in houses with pyrite damage were also told they would still have to pay the property tax because they were living outside the designated areas for the scheme, though Brennan received an exemption last year from the council because of defects in her home.

The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government said that while it “fully appreciates and acknowledges the extremely difficult and distressing situations that householders have to deal with when faced with the consequences of the use of defective materials or poor workmanship, building defects are, in general, matters for resolution between the contracting parties involved, ie the owner, the builder, the manufacturer, supplier, and/or their respective insurers.”

“In the event that the contracting parties cannot reach a settlement by negotiation the option of seeking redress in the Courts can be considered.”

Read: 418 applications for Pyrite repair funds for damaged houses>

Explainer: The scheme that will fix pyrite victim’s crumbling homes>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.