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.