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‘Get this terrible scourge sorted’


STANDING STRONG Mayo homeowners at the pyrite protest in Dublin last October. The problem continues to grow in the county with cases emerging in Westport. Pic: Paul Reardon

‘More and more’ Mayo families impacted

Michael Gallagher

Pyrite is destroying homes right across Mayo, and families urgently need someone to help and support them as they seek information and redress.
That was the message delivered by Martina Hegarty of the North Mayo Pyrite Group when she spoke with The Mayo News yesterday evening (Monday).
“I think everyone in Mayo should be aware that this disaster isn’t restricted to North Mayo, it could literally be on anyone’s doorstep or in anyone’s walls as we speak.
“Unfortunately, news is reaching us every day of more and more families being impacted all across the county and my heart goes out to them. I’m being contacted on a daily basis with people reaching out, looking for support, and there’s basically nobody to help them.
“Mayo County Council are there from application stage onwards, but we were promised locally-based liaison officers who could help homeowners with the whole process. These have not been put in place, and this needs to be remedied immediately,” Ms Hegarty stated.
Residents are at their wits’ end regarding the State’s reaction to their plight, she added.
“There’s a lot of frustration with the extremely slow progress of the redress scheme. Since the announcement in November, nothing has happened because it still hasn’t gone through the Dáil and been approved.
“Communication from the Government is shocking, absolutely shocking. We’re being treated like an afterthought. They throw out so many soundbites – ‘summertime’, ‘springtime’, ‘the scheme will be rolled out at the end of the year’. We’re so sick of being fobbed off. We need action. We’ve been waiting so long for it.
“Now, we have an estate in Westport impacted and we will do everything we can to help the residents, but we need urgent State action.”

Bureaucratic backlog
Ms Hegarty said the growing number of homes impacted by the defective blocks has caused a bureaucratic backlog and this is adding to the concerns of homeowners and their families.
“There are over 100 applications awaiting approval from Mayo County Council, some of them dating back to June of last year.
“Families are frustrated by this because they’re stuck in limbo and don’t know what the future holds. They’re receiving letters asking for further information, but these details have already been completed in the applications, and this is causing so much concern.”
Moves are afoot that should bring more clarity to the whole situation. “Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working with councillors Neil Cruise, John O’Hara and Jarlath Munnelly to set up a Pyrite Redress Committee in Mayo, which will add visibility to the application process - how many have been approved and what are the blockages in the system,” Hegarty explained.
“This will add accountability to the process, which is badly needed right now. I hope a lot more councillors get behind us in the coming days and weeks. All we want is to be treated fairly and openly and to get this terrible scourge sorted as quickly and fairly as possible.”


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