NORTHSIDE homeowners have given a cautious welcome to the establishment of a pyrite resolution board announced by the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.
Frustrated residents pro- tested outside the Dail last Thursday (October 18) to put pressure on the Government to take a firm line with stakeholders involved in the scandal affecting thousands of homes.
Their protest had the desired effect as the Minister later made a detailed speech in which he threatened to introduce a levy on agencies he holds responsible for pyrite in houses if they fail to co-operate with a repair programme.
Minister Hogan gave stakeholders, either directly or indirectly accountable for the pyrite issue, 10 days to “respond positively” to the resolution board or he would ask the Government to impose levies on them.
Sandra Lewis, whose home in Santry is affected by pyrite and is spokesperson for the Pyrite Action Group, described the announcement as a “positive step in the right direction”.
“We are a step closer to having the situation resolved but we’re a way yet before builders come to our home to carry out the extensive work needed to repair the pyrite damage,” she told Northside People.
“We don’t have any granular detail as to how the panel will function and who will be on it so as far as we’re concerned the jury is out in that respect.
“The pyrite resolution board seems to be very much in the conceptual stage and until we see something on paper and money in the pot for remedial works then we’ll just have to wait and see.”
During his speech Minister Hogan explained how the pyrite panel he established had recommended the setting up of a resolution board, funded by a levy on the construction and quarrying sectors and the related insurance sector.
He said his preference was that all the main stakeholders would engage with the proposed board.
This would give a final opportunity for all those directly or indirectly accountable for what had happened to respond and play a lead role in the remediation programme and to contribute to the cost involved.
Minister Hogan said the cost of remediating pyrite damaged dwellings must fall to those stakeholders who were deemed to be responsible for the problem and identified in the report.
“I want to make it clear that I will do what is necessary to ensure that effective solutions are provided for affected homeowners,” he declared.
“I am conscious of the long period of time that many affected homeowners have been waiting to get a resolution to this complex problem.
“I will not delay in finalising robust proposals and to bring this phase of the process to a speedy conclusion.”
Minister Hogan added: “Nobody should be in any doubt which side of this debate I am supporting. It is the homeowners that have suffered for far too long with this problem.”