Local TD Joe Carey has welcomed efforts being made to extend a scheme to help residents whose homes are crumbling because of defective concrete materials to Clare.

Deputy Carey was speaking after Clare County Council Senior Executive Engineer Tony Neville confirmed to him that the local authority has made representations to the Department of Housing to extend the Defective Concrete Blocks Scheme to County Clare. The scheme currently exists in Mayo and Donegal.

The local Fine Gael TD said: “I’m very pleased progress is being made in relation to the application to extend the Defective Concrete Blocks Scheme to county Clare. I have seen clear evidence first-hand that several homes across the county have been affected by harmful materials such as Pyrite and Muscovite Mica, which is a very distressing situation for the homeowners involved.

“Significant works need to be carried out on a number of homes across the county, and in some cases houses may need to be demolished and rebuilt altogether.”

The Clarecastle-based TD has made several representations on behalf of the owners of dozens of homes in Clare whose walls have experienced significant cracking, which is believed to be caused by harmful materials in the concrete.

Deputy Carey confirmed the Department has requested a submission from the local authority on foot of its request to extend the Defective Concrete Blocks Scheme to the county. As part of the submission, Deputy Carey said the council must include the results of tests to five affected local properties.

Clare County Council will visually inspect each of the properties, which will represent as wide a geographical spread as possible within the county.

Deputy Carey said up to 35 homes across Clare have been affected by the presence of damaging materials in concrete.

If the Defective Concrete Blocks Scheme is extended to Clare, successful applicants will be eligible for significant funding, ranging from €49,500 for the rebuilding of outer walls to up to €247,000 where a house needs to be demolished and rebuilt from scratch.

Deputy Carey added: “The Government’s invitation to the council to make a submission to extend the Defective Concrete Blocks Scheme to Clare is a significant step forward for the homeowners who, through absolutely no fault of their own, have seen the value of their family home plummet as a result of harmful materials used in the construction of the properties.

“I look forward to working with Clare County Council in providing whatever assistance I can to ensure the scheme is extended to local homeowners who have been highlighting the issue for several years.”