Limerick families want full repair for faulty building blocks

Ann and Kieran Ryan whose house in Askeaton was built with bad blocks.

FAMILIES in Limerick whose homes have been destroyed by mica and pyrite fear that the Government’s compensation scheme to help repair damaged homes will not cover the full costs and have reiterated their calls for a full repair.

One such couple, Kieran Ryan, (60), and his wife Anne, (58), from Askeaton, said while they welcomed the government’s plan to fund some of the costs associated with replacing defective blocks, they will not be able to respond to any unpaid charges.

The Ryans said a number of structural engineers told them their home, which began to crumble in 2011 due to pyrite in the blocks, needed to be torn down and rebuilt.

Around 1,300 homes affected by mica and pyrite in Limerick and Clare have been included in the state-funded bad block compensation scheme, which is capped at €420,000.

However, the Ryans believe this will not be enough to cover rising construction costs and will leave the owners in massive debt.

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Kieran Ryan said: “We’ve been waiting a long time for Limerick to be included in the program but they’re capping us at €420,000, they’re offering up to €165 per square foot, but no builder will quote less than €195.

“If you add up the square footage of the house, up and down here, we’re going to be out of money at the end of the day, and who’s going to find the rest – it’s either 100% or nothing.

“It’s great to have Limerick and Clare in there, it’s half a battle won. All we’re looking for is everything here, nothing modern, everything here, it’s is all we want, just to replace like for like.

“We wait ten years. It started after the hard frost of 2010. The house started cracking after that when the frost went down to minus 16 degrees.

“The house is a nightmare now, it’s cracked inside, in the corners and on all the ceilings, along the west wall, all along the bedroom walls, and all the exterior walls are badly cracked.

“The rain enters the house, over the windows. I sealed it a bit, but when we have heavy rain from the west, it still flies over the window panel.

“The roof is still on, but for how much longer, I don’t know. It is a concern. The blocks are collapsing and there is no other answer to this than to hit the house.

“Two engineers told me that the house should be destroyed, and one of them even told me that we shouldn’t live there. I would say there is a long way ahead of us.

“Let’s say, for example, you have a new roof and the windows are up, and the next thing the money runs out for everything else. Who will find the money?

“It’s a nightmare and at my age I’m not going to take a mortgage anymore, and why should I.”

Limerick Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell, who is offering support to the Ryan family, said the government aid was “a big relief to residents in tackling faulty concrete blocks in their homes”.

He pledged to ‘consider all aspects of the same as it applies to households in Limerick affected by defective concrete blocks’.