Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category
Scale of problem seriously underestimated and recommended response too piecemeal and slow
Report lets current and past governments off the hook
Responding to the publication of the government commissioned report on Pyrite Socialist Party representatives Clare Daly TD and Councillor Ruth Coppinger who have been active on the issue in their areas alongside residents organised in the Pyrite Action Group commented:
Clare Daly said:
“It is a shame that this report is coming out at a juncture where time won’t be made available to debate its findings in the Dáil because there is a lot I and others who have campaigned on this issue have to say. The acknowledgement by the report that the building industry bears responsibility for the pyrite scandal is indisputable. However its claim that the governments past and present do not have any responsibility is simply not the case.
“Successive governments stood over a system of lax building regulations leaving the industry to regulate itself. The catastrophic affects of heave inducing pyrite have been known since the mid 1970s.
“That up to 60,000 houses, considerably more than the 12,000 estimate in the report, spread across scores of housing estates in Leinster could have been built with this material in the foundations represents a gross dereliction by the state.”
Ruth Coppinger said:
“The fact the government commissioned this report and have to been seen to be doing something about the pyrite problem is a testament to the organisation and determination of the householders affected, spearheaded by the Pyrite Action Group who have put ceaseless pressure on the political establishment and representatives of the building industry whose own response has been scandalous.
“The scale of immediate remediation proposed, while welcome for the 850 householders affected is completely inadequate. The piecemeal rate of repairs implied in the report leaves tens of thousands of households have to endure this ordeal for years to come. A system of levying the industry is just too gradual.
“We say that the government should front the funds required for a rapid and extensive remediation programme. The workers and materials required to make this happen are available. The state should then seize the assets of all the quarrying, building supplies and construction companies responsible in order to recoup the funds required for this.
“Anything short of this is an injustice to tens of thousands of predominantly young couples and families who on this any many other instances bear the burden of the economic crisis. I am sure Pyrite Action will be stepping up it campaign in response to this report.
United Left Alliance to present private members motion on building regulations in the Dáil today
Radical change needed to prevent future pyrite and fire hazard scandals
Major programme of remedial works initiated by the state but ultimately funded by developers and builders proposed
At today’s press conference address by the ULA TDs and Peter Lewis, chair of the Pyrite Action Group, Clare Daly TD said:
“The inspiration for this motion came from the work we have been engaged in alongside residents in estates built during the building boom. It has become clear that the light regulation approach in the financial sector was also the guiding philosophy of the previous government when it came to building regulations.
“The legacy of estates affected by pyrite and apartment complexes being evacuated because of inadequate fire prevention measures is an indictment on the construction sector but the political establishment over which the major builders and speculators wielded enormous influence.”
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said
“The shoddy building regulations that are obvious from scandals such as priory hall are just another example, if we needed one after the Mahon report, that Irish governments throughout the Celtic Tiger and before prioritised the interests of land speculators, developers and the construction industry above the interests of families and individuals. We need to see immediate action on the recommendations of the Mahon report and an end to lip-service from this government”
Joan Collins TD said
“The lack of regulation, that allows people to live in potential fire traps, pyrite riddled or mould and damp infested homes is simply unacceptable. There is a real need for government led investment in areas like Dolphin House, Priory Hall etc that will allow people to lead decent lives in decent homes. This state has been captured over the years by various vested interests such as the construction lobby, it is time that the Government stood up for the people instead of vested interests.
“This bill calls for proper regulation of building controls and I fully support it. We never want to see another Priory Hall or Dolphin House type scenario again. We also want to deal with those kind of situations now. The fact that this government still supports inadequate checks on the building sector is indicative of the lack of change we have had in this country.”
Joe Higgins TD said:
“The nightmare of being tied to 30 and 40 year mortgages is compounded for thousands of homeowners by the fact that their home is literally coming apart at the seams or in the case of Belmayne and Priory Hall is considered a fire trap.
“The motion calls on the government to take matter in hand by initiating a major programme of remedial works in all estates affected by the issues addressed in this motion. Initial funding must come from the exchequer to expedite matters but it is absolutely right that the builders and speculators should be chased so that the tax payer can recoup the cost from those who carry the greatest responsibility for this scandal.”
Media attempting to whitewash the role of the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes in organising mass non registration
“With just under four days left and over 75% non payment there is an emerging narrative in the largely pro establishment media that non payment can be attributed to administrative mess ups on the part of the government.
“While it is true that the Department of the Environment has made blunders the plain facts cannot be escaped that we have seen over the last three months the biggest organised campaign of civil disobedience since the Land League.
“There have been public meetings and protests in every corner of the state and tens of thousands of people have become active in advocating and organising non payment in their street, estate and workplace.
“As part of the effort to diminish the role of the campaign Prime Time last night facilitated Minister Hogan who refused to go head to head with myself on the issue. Instead the role of the campaign was made a foot note when compared to the whys and wherefores of whether or not the tax can be paid in the Post Office.
“By Saturday with the mass demonstration at the FG conference coinciding with the deadline it will be demonstrated that the campaign is the decisive factor on the ground.”
Clare Daly calls on the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaelteacht to prevent eviction of barge dwellers at Lowtown Marina in Naas
“Residents moored at Lowtown Marina near Naas in County Kildare have without warning been told by Waterways Ireland that they will be asked to quit by the end of this month without any alternative arrangements being offered.
“They are being told that they must do this because the area is to be redeveloped. To date residents paid a company Lowtown Marina Ltd for the right to moor there. It is their home and recognised as such by An Post, the Department of Social Welfare and the HSE.
“Residents have found that representatives from Waterways Ireland are reluctant to properly engage directly with them. This is a very high handed approach which residents I have been in touch with won’t take lying down. Efforts by my own office to talk to officials in Waterways Ireland have proven fruitless. I have therefore tabled a question to the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaelteacht which has oversight over Waterways Ireland, asking him to intervene and make a statement on the matter.”