Plans for pyrite/mica repairs scheme for homes in Mayo

PLANS for a special scheme to repair homes affected by mica and pyrite in Mayo and Donegal have been announced by Ministers Michael Ring and Joe McHugh.

Following a government commitment in October 2018 to repair properties impacted by the issue in the two counties, €20 million has been pledged for the scheme this year with the worst-hit homes to be fixed first.

Ministers Ring and McHugh held discussions today with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Eoghan Murphy on the plans for the scheme, the exceptional nature of the problem and special measures which are required to address the issue.

Said Minister Ring: “The scheme is an exceptional measure in response to an exceptional need. Some homeowners are in dire straits. And this is the confirmation that these people need that the government is to pay 90% of the cost of repairing affected homes.”

Added Minister McHugh: “Government agreement for the scheme is about protecting people in their homes. It is about ensuring people feel secure and safe in the place where they have set down roots, where they are building a life, rearing a family and planning for their futures.”

The scheme will be financed from central government over a number of years through the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and administered and operated at a local authority level in Mayo and Donegal.

Experts on the scheme from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will travel to Donegal next week for discussions with the county council to advise on any remaining preparations for the roll out of the scheme.

Said Minister Ring: “I want to pay tribute to the many families who have been living through this nightmare every day for many years. It has been a long road for the many families living with this scandal and we hope now that this scheme gives them some peace of mind.

There are approximately 350 homes in Mayo which are affected by pyrite. Having visited Geesala with the Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal, Damien English, and Councillor Gerry Coyle to explore the issue, I am delighted that we now have resolution on this matter.

This has been a long road for the many families living with pyrite and we hope now that this gives them some peace of mind and assurance that we are aiming to introduce the scheme early next year. The people affected by this issue have shown immense patience, determination and fortitude in working with us to secure this resolution.”