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The curse of Mica house blocks in Donegal homes

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Comments

  • #2


    Re: pyrite, did properties have to be demolished in that case?


  • #2


    Indeed they are experiencing them and an ulterior motive for this was implied. I want to know what they think this motive is.

    Because to me such suggestions appear to be entirely unfounded. It looks far more like a public unfriendly scheme that is under resourced at the administrative end.

    Unless you or the poster I quoted could enlighten us?

    I’ll give an example of how Donegal CoCo are stalling and causing anxiety and hurt in how they implementing the scheme. A person applied for the redress scheme, got their blocks tested , results etc and a report from the engineer who is from the CoCo approved list which stated a full demolish was required due to the level of mica in the blocks. Donegal CoCo returned the application stating the internal walls which had ‘only’ 17% mica content did not need to be demolished and wouldn’t approve the application.

    That is total and utter fcukactory at its best. The permitted mica content is 1% yet some complete tool in Donegal CoCo seems to think 17% is acceptable and refused to grant the application despite the authorised engineers report and recommendations.

    Until sh1t like that is done away with this is never ever going to end. It’s going to take decades for them to go through all applications and get peoples homes sorted. I don’t know if they’ve been advised by higher authorities to frustrate the scheme as much as possible or if it’s sheer incompetence on behalf of the CoCo but the way it’s presently been processed is a complete joke.

    Once an engineer has made their recommendation, some pencil pusher in the CoCo should have zero say in any further aspect of the application. I would dearly love to know what qualifications the said CoCo pencil pusher has, I’d be very willing to bet, not many.


  • #2


    I've heard of anecdotal evidence that after waiting months in the application process, many homeowners are being asked for more information.

    Could their applications not be vetted as they come in, and if some information is missing then, could they not be asked for it straight away, rather than asking them months down the line?


  • #2


    NIMAN wrote: »
    I've heard of anecdotal evidence that after waiting months in the application process, many homeowners are being asked for more information.

    Could their applications not be vetted as they come in, and if some information is missing then, could they mot be asked for it straight away, rather than asking them months down the line?

    Another part of that is that once an application is returned for further information, that persons application is then bumped to the back of the queue and dealt with when it gets to the top again (as far as I know) The whole thing is a mess and being made worse by the CoCo.

    A template report should be drafted by the council and sent to all applicants with all the information required to process the application. Once it’s all provided and the engineers recommendations included that should be it, sign it off and grant it.

    Donegal county council should not be having any say in the level of remedial work required given the sheer incompetence that exists in their ranks and their level of involvement with the Cassidys which extends back decades.

    I firmly believe a full public tribunal is needed because the council have been directly involved in this controversy since the beginning and it appears to me their actions now are to frustrate and cover up for their own failings in the past.


  • #2


    NIMAN wrote: »
    Leo is talking tax decreases!

    I don't think the government would sell any tax increase as being done to fix one issue in the country. It's not done that way.

    If they tried to sell more tax as being done to fix Donegal homes, you can guarantee it wouldn't go down well. People would start shouting about education, hospital waiting lists, economy, homeless crisis etc.

    Instead the government would raise extra tax and sort the homes out of the central pot.

    Or they could borrow at near 0% to help?

    There is going to have to be a significant redress provided anyway. But this is on top of demands for the government to provide billions more for social and affordable housing, and then of course the plan to let asylum seekers have their own homes.

    Something is going to have to give. The problem for the people marching tomorrow is going to be that the rest of the people in the country will likely consider the 90/10 aspect to be fair.

    I do think that the banks should be compelled to do something such as taking a hit on mortgage payments while properties are being renovated. After all, they have a lien on the property as an asset - why should they get the benefit of that asset being protected by the government.


  • #2


    I’ll give an example of how Donegal CoCo are stalling and causing anxiety and hurt in how they implementing the scheme. A person applied for the redress scheme, got their blocks tested , results etc and a report from the engineer who is from the CoCo approved list which stated a full demolish was required due to the level of mica in the blocks. Donegal CoCo returned the application stating the internal walls which had ‘only’ 17% mica content did not need to be demolished and wouldn’t approve the application.

    That is total and utter fcukactory at its best. The permitted mica content is 1% yet some complete tool in Donegal CoCo seems to think 17% is acceptable and refused to grant the application despite the authorised engineers report and recommendations.

    Until sh1t like that is done away with this is never ever going to end. It’s going to take decades for them to go through all applications and get peoples homes sorted. I don’t know if they’ve been advised by higher authorities to frustrate the scheme as much as possible or if it’s sheer incompetence on behalf of the CoCo but the way it’s presently been processed is a complete joke.

    Once an engineer has made their recommendation, some pencil pusher in the CoCo should have zero say in any further aspect of the application. I would dearly love to know what qualifications the said CoCo pencil pusher has, I’d be very willing to bet, not many.

    Where is this 1% stated? Because I've seen misinterpretation of the old IS20 here relating to 1% mica content.

    I don't think many people here have read the expert groups report. There are two issues mica causes: high water demand during manufacture leading to low cement content and poor freeze thaw resistance. In an environment that is not subject to freeze thaw, such as internally, the % content mica is not the determining factor. So what was the crushing strength of the sample? DCC didn't or at least shouldn't have given a "computer says no" answer, so I presume they gave a reason.

    There is a lot of money involved here, so it's right that the council ensure that only the appropriate amount of work is being undertaken.


  • #2


    Where is this 1% stated? Because I've seen misinterpretation of the old IS20 here relating to 1% mica content.

    I don't think many people here have read the expert groups report. There are two issues mica causes: high water demand during manufacture leading to low cement content and poor freeze thaw resistance. In an environment that is not subject to freeze thaw, such as internally, the % content mica is not the determining factor. So what was the crushing strength of the sample? DCC didn't or at least shouldn't have given a "computer says no" answer, so I presume they gave a reason.

    There is a lot of money involved here, so it's right that the council ensure that only the appropriate amount of work is being undertaken.

    Regardless of the interpretation of the mica content or permissible levels, the engineer recommended full Demolition of the building. So what is the point paying thousands for an engineer to compile a report for the CoCo to decide otherwise? Will that council engineer (and I’m presuming it’s ab engineer and not some desk jockey) sign off on the final build stating the house is safe, inner walls will not deteriorate further or require any further work in the future? I’ll bet not. The whole thing is a joke.

    A tribunal is required and the county council should be first to be investigated.


  • #2


    I don't think many people here have read the expert groups report.

    Seems the Council haven't read it either. They have allowed mica ridden blocks to be used for another 4 years and counting. What was it the expert report said "blocks not fit for purpose"?

    Now you expect people who have been living a nightmare for 10 years to blindly accept what this same council recommends over an engineer?

    Give over.


  • #2


    There is a lot of money involved here, so it's right that the council ensure that only the appropriate amount of work is being undertaken.

    If the authorities sign off and stand over any work done, I'm sure most people will accept any work done.

    As long as if, in 10 or 15yrs time, the blocks start failing inside, they agree to fix that too.


  • #2


    Regardless of the interpretation of the mica content or permissible levels, the engineer recommended full Demolition of the building. So what is the point paying thousands for an engineer to compile a report for the CoCo to decide otherwise? Will that council engineer (and I’m presuming it’s ab engineer and not some desk jockey) sign off on the final build stating the house is safe, inner walls will not deteriorate further or require any further work in the future? I’ll bet not. The whole thing is a joke.


    A tribunal is required and the county council should be first to be investigated.

    Recommendations made by a report like that have no bearing on the outcome. The council engineer is going to make a decision based on the facts contained therein, not the interpretation of another engineer.

    You'd struggle to get any engineer to sign of on any existing structure, let alone one known to have issues btw.


  • #2


    Recommendations made by a report like that have no bearing on the outcome. The council engineer is going to make a decision based on the facts contained therein, not the interpretation of another engineer.

    You'd struggle to get any engineer to sign of on any existing structure, let alone one known to have issues btw.

    Who do you work for and what is your interest ?


  • #2


    Recommendations made by a report like that have no bearing on the outcome. The council engineer is going to make a decision based on the facts contained therein, not the interpretation of another engineer.

    You'd struggle to get any engineer to sign of on any existing structure, let alone one known to have issues btw.

    That makes no sense. So some one pays upwards of €6000 for an engineer to examine the house, get core samples tested, compile a report and make their recommendations based on what they observed in person, the results block crush test and mica content etc and a council engineer sitting on his or her hole in their office can interpret the report differently and make their own recommendation yet won’t sign off on the final build despite them having the final decision? Who signs off on the final build? How can an engineer who recommended full demolition sign off on a partial demolition/rebuild?

    If that’s the way it’s working then it is seriously broken!

    Thankfully I’m not directly effected but both my sisters are and hence my interest in the whole thing however if I was unfortunate enough to have mica problem I would be holding off for a while as I would have serious concerns over how the co co are implementing the scheme!


  • #2


    I think many are holding off as they think the scheme isn't fit for purpose.

    Plus I would imagine many think it will hopefully be changed in the near future, once the housing minister reevaluates it.


  • #2


    Who do you work for and what is your interest ?

    I'm just interested in this, however who I work for us none of your business. I had heard some campaigner on Matt Cooper and he didn't challenge her at all and I thought that there was more to this than what was being presented. Hence I'm here.

    I don't however have any skin in this game. I don't live, work or play in Donegal and I don't to my knowledge have a house constructed from defective blocks.


  • #2


    That makes no sense. So some one pays upwards of €6000 for an engineer to examine the house, get core samples tested, compile a report and make their recommendations based on what they observed in person, the results block crush test and mica content etc and a council engineer sitting on his or her hole in their office can interpret the report differently and make their own recommendation yet won’t sign off on the final build despite them having the final decision? Who signs off on the final build? How can an engineer who recommended full demolition sign off on a partial demolition/rebuild?

    If that’s the way it’s working then it is seriously broken!

    Thankfully I’m not directly effected but both my sisters are and hence my interest in the whole thing however if I was unfortunate enough to have mica problem I would be holding off for a while as I would have serious concerns over how the co co are implementing the scheme!

    The engineer will only sign off on the work completed under his/her supervision anyway.

    The point of having the engineer compile the report is not for the recommendation but to ensure the tests are carried out to IS435. The recommendation may help steer the outcome but I'd expect that the council should just look at the results with their own critical eye. As I said there is a lot of money on the line.


  • #2


    As far as I can tell, a No. 200 sieve has an opening of 75 microns. Material not passing the sieve is not subject to the test.
    The standard is saying that the only requirement is that less than 1% passing the 200 sieve can be mica.

    I don't have EN771-3 to hand so I can't tell you exactly what the current % permitted currently is.
    Where is this 1% stated? Because I've seen misinterpretation of the old IS20 here relating to 1% mica content.

    high water demand during manufacture leading to low cement content and poor freeze thaw resistance. In an environment that is not subject to freeze thaw, such as internally, the % content mica is not the determining factor. So what was the crushing strength of the sample? DCC .
    to ensure the tests are carried out to IS435.
    This isnt a laboratory nor a technical examination centre so we can leave all technical references aside please.


  • #2


    I'm just interested in this, however who I work for us none of your business. I had heard some campaigner on Matt Cooper and he didn't challenge her at all and I thought that there was more to this than what was being presented. Hence I'm here.

    I don't however have any skin in this game. I don't live, work or play in Donegal and I don't to my knowledge have a house constructed from defective blocks.

    Your interest and employment could cause you to be biased.
    Your admission that you "don't live, work or play in Donegal" might suggest that you are an Internet Troll.


  • #2


    Your interest and employment could cause you to be biased.
    Your admission that you "don't live, work or play in Donegal" might suggest that you are an Internet Troll.

    Or a member of a certain party known to begrudge giving anything to Donegal


  • #2


    I was talking to a person this evening who works in a large architects office in the county. He was saying that the costs of the engineers report and block testing is extortionate. The test on the concrete is €2000-2500 and the report which is a regular report compiled regularly by engineers should be no more than €1000 but that the engineers that are creaming it with the report. He knows quite a few who have been out of the report game for a while who have now come back into it again given the big money they can make for doing very little extra.

    The more it goes on the more sickening it’s becoming, it seems everyone involved bar the poor unfortunate families are going to profit heavily from this, engineers, architects, builders, builders providers/suppliers. There’s going to be in excess of 6000 and could even double that, houses/buildings to be repaired and they’re just going to milk it for all they can.


  • #2


    Heard from a couple ones in the same estate getting different reports from different engineers.
    1 engineer would be telling a couple of houses that they need to be demolished while another engineer telling more exposed houses that outer leaf would be enough, with builders saying the same about all the houses in the estate.
    So seems some engineers just covering themselves. By the whole house being recommended for demolishing, it can't come back on them.


  • #2


    I was talking to a person this evening who works in a large architects office in the county. He was saying that the costs of the engineers report and block testing is extortionate. The test on the concrete is €2000-2500 and the report which is a regular report compiled regularly by engineers should be no more than €1000 but that the engineers that are creaming it with the report. He knows quite a few who have been out of the report game for a while who have now come back into it again given the big money they can make for doing very little extra.

    The more it goes on the more sickening it’s becoming, it seems everyone involved bar the poor unfortunate families are going to profit heavily from this, engineers, architects, builders, builders providers/suppliers. There’s going to be in excess of 6000 and could even double that, houses/buildings to be repaired and they’re just going to milk it for all they can.

    And all this is reason why the state can’t just be left with the full bill - if money is coming out of those affected they’ll be doing all they can to ensure they and the state aren’t getting ripped off.


  • #2


    There is a new map live, where homeowners can enter their eircode if they have, or suspect they have, mica in their house.

    Scary to see the number entered so far, and bear in mind there are probably many more out there who don't even know this map exists and have yet to enter their details on it.
    Click the link, then hit SEE MAP

    https://www.zeemaps.com/mica_pyrite_mapping



    Edit: just noticed something, when I check my own and my neighbour, we are both listed under one flag. So there's actually more entries than flags.


  • #2


    Your interest and employment could cause you to be biased.
    Your admission that you "don't live, work or play in Donegal" might suggest that you are an Internet Troll.

    Equally anyone with a relation affected or themselves will want the government to cover 150%+ of the costs without really thinking of anything else. I.e they are blind sided.

    If for instance the states covers full cost then any future cases of any building related issue the state would have to cover. I know some mention the pyrite a few years ago - but what about the apartments in dublin that failed fire safety tests - there was no government bail out - and owners had to cough up the money to fix it.

    Yoi look at the amount of investment funds in the country - suppose one of them fines and issue - would you be ok with the government paying millions to fix whatever problem emerges.

    It’s not just fixing this issue - it’s the domino affect it will have on the building industry- why would any builder or developer care in future builds, if they see the government being there to save the day - and in turn use them to fix problems their industry created?


  • #2


    Your admission that you "don't live, work or play in Donegal" might suggest that you are an Internet Troll.
    No need for that. Warning given


  • #2


    Just had a look around Letterkenny on the map, a lot of houses flagged up in around the Solomon's Court and Killylastin areas.


  • #2


    Ace2007 wrote: »
    And all this is reason why the state can’t just be left with the full bill - if money is coming out of those affected they’ll be doing all they can to ensure they and the state aren’t getting ripped off.


    So why was it okay to cover the full costs in Dublin?


  • #2


    Fann Linn wrote: »
    So why was it okay to cover the full costs in Dublin?

    Costs were a lot smaller and known. Nobody can put a figure on the mica cases - could be 1 billion or 5, maybe even 10’billion.

    There are also a number of requirements before you can enter the scheme in dublin which I’m sure your aware of. Equally it was’t just confined to dublin but seems like you just left that out??

    On the flip side there were apartments in dublin that failed fire standards and the owners had to cough up the money to fix - even though they would/should have been signed off when built - why didn’t the government pay for that work???

    I feel that if this was a large investment fund that was asking the government to write a blank check to fix apartments that they owned there would be uproar at tax payers money being used. And this is key as the government need to ensure that they arent going to get caught on the hook for potential any issue no matter who is claiming.


  • #2


    Ace2007 wrote: »
    Costs were a lot smaller and known. Nobody can put a figure on the mica cases - could be 1 billion or 5, maybe even 10’billion.

    There are also a number of requirements before you can enter the scheme in dublin which I’m sure your aware of. Equally it was’t just confined to dublin but seems like you just left that out??

    On the flip side there were apartments in dublin that failed fire standards and the owners had to cough up the money to fix - even though they would/should have been signed off when built - why didn’t the government pay for that work???

    I feel that if this was a large investment fund that was asking the government to write a blank check to fix apartments that they owned there would be uproar at tax payers money being used. And this is key as the government need to ensure that they arent going to get caught on the hook for potential any issue no matter who is claiming.


    Thanks. Apart from the firedoors etc I didn't know any of that.


  • #2


    Fann Linn wrote: »
    Thanks. Apart from the firedoors etc I didn't know any of that.

    Just to be clear something needs to be done - one hundred percent, but if they came to the table and ask for full costs of tests and rebuilding cost capped at 200k say (or whatever is a reasonable building figure) they would probably get it a lot quicker than looking for a blank cheque and telling their supporters they won’t stop until they get it all.

    Having 3 separate groups is also not good for their case, I believe the group making the most noise were excluded by other group who organised a meeting with the Taoiseach. (That might have changed in last 24/48 hours)


  • #2


    Technique wrote: »
    Just had a look around Letterkenny on the map, a lot of houses flagged up in around the Solomon's Court and Killylastin areas.

    I drove around every single housing estate in letterkenny on Saturday. All but two of them are affected. Every estate in glencar except glenoughty looks to have the problem. Same as you head up towards mountain top. All the estates behind Hegarty’s and further up towards the top have the problem as does Lisnenan court. On the other side of town the Maples is riddled with it, not sure on Rowan park though but think it’s ok. I’m estimating close to 2000 houses between them all.


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