Irish Pyrite Problem

The Irish Pyrite Problem

Last updated 10.09.16

Background

The following historical summary describes the Irish pyrite problem. The summary includes notes on:

  • The use of pyritic material in sub-floor aggregate
  • The use of pyritic material in the construction of the M3 motorway
  • The use of pyritic material in concrete building blocks
  • Publications/research related to pyrite problems in Ireland
  • Technical documents and standards
  • Legal actions, political statements, Council discussions etc

Sources and Disclaimer

I have tried to link to information sources for each event. If not linked, the source and date of the article is given. The summary does not purport to be complete and whilst I have made every effort to ensure accuracy, mistakes are possible. Caution should be exercised when reading and interpreting these events. Any interpretation or use is at the reader’s risk. Attention should be paid to the original source and its validity.

I am not responsible for content hosted outside of pyriteproblem.com. Please get in touch with any corrections, additions or revisions. I welcome feedback and comments. Please cite this website if you use this summary.

Historical Summary

2016

September: The Irish Examiner reports that “A Dublin property development firm is to contribute €1m to the Pyrite Resolution Board to assist with the cost of carrying out work on homes affected by sub-standing construction material”. (07.09.16).

August: The Irish Times reports that “Reconstructed Priory Hall apartments to go on sale next month”. The Irish Times reported that “Pyrite was found beneath footpaths, roads, basement car parks, stair foundations and four apartments in the complex.” (31.08.16).

June: The North County Leader reports that the “Pyrite Remediation Scheme in need of review”. (28.06.16).

April: “…an expert panel is being established to investigate the presence of mica and defective blocks in homes and buildings in Mayo.” Mayo Advertiser (08.06.16).

March: Irish Independent reports that “A review group set up last November to address the problem of pyrite in homes has yet to begin its work – despite having a deadline of reporting by the end of May”. (29.03.16).

March: Irish Independent reports on a Mayo family with pyritic blockwork problems. (29.03.16).

March: IS 398-1:2013 full revision approved and underway. NSAI (03.03.16).

January: Chairperson “…to be appointed to the expert group set up to investigate the problems that have been caused to dwelling houses in Mayo and Donegal by pyrite and mica in concrete blocks.” Mayo Advertiser (29.01.16).

January: The Advocate General, Campos Sanchez-Bordona delivered an opinion on Case C-613/14 (James Elliott Construction Ltd v Irish Asphalt Ltd) with reference to the request for a preliminary ruling from the Supreme Court of Ireland. The Opinion was delivered on 28/01/2016. The full text of the Opinion and the conclusions can be read by clicking here. (28.01.16).

January: The Irish Times reports that “Pyrite damage to Dublin social housing will cost €7m to fix”. (21.01.16).

January: The Irish Times reports that Dublin Councillors “demand legal action over pyrite damage”. 21.01.16.

January: Dublin’s 98fm.com reports that “the cost of repairing pyrite homes in the social housing sector will top 7 million euro according to the city council. (21.01.16).

January: Technical Committee for IS 398-1 met in Dublin on 12.1.16 to discuss updates to the standard. (15.01.16).

January: The Fingal Independent reports that “householders with pyrite-infected homes will not have to pay for expensive testing of their properties in order to qualify for the pyrite exemption from Local Property Tax”. (02.01.16).

2015

December: William Fry report that the Advocate General’s Opinion in relation to the James Elliot Construction v Irish Asphalt Limited appeal is due to be presented on 28 January 2016. (22.12.15).

December: Paper published: Matheson, G.D, and Quigley, P. (2015). Evaluating pyrite-induced swelling in Dublin mudrocks. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology. Published Online First – 23rd December 2015. Link to abstract.

November: Irish Independent reports on the remediation progress of homes affected by pyrite problems in Fingal. Independent.ie. (07.11.15).

October: Paper published: Matheson, G.D, and Jones, G.L.I. (2015). The habit and form of gypsum crystals in Irish mudstone aggregate affected by pyrite-induced swelling. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology. 48, 167-174. Link to abstract.

October: Irish Independent reports on a case study of pyrite problems first identified some six years ago in Balbriggan, as well as the challenges faced by families during the damage and during the remediation. Independent.ie (24.10.15).

October: The Sunday Times reports on the residents of a gated community in Drumnigh Wood, Portmarnock and their legal actions taken against Ballymore due to pyrite problems. Sunday Times (17.10.15).

October: Dublin People reports on increased funding (an additional €10m on 2015) for pyrite repairs. Dublin People (15.10.15).

October: Irish Independent reports on a case study of rebuilt former-pyrite homes in Drogheda. Independent.ie (01.10.15).

September: Two research papers on the Irish pyrite problems published:

Czerewko, M.A., and Cripps, J.C. (2015). Investigation of destructive ground heave affecting new-build properties constructed using pyrite bearing fill in the Dublin area of Ireland. Proceedings of the XVI ECSMGE Geotechnical Engineering for Infrastructure and Development. pp. 2361-2366.

Taylor, A.J., Cripps, J.C., and Clarke, S.D. (2015). The identification of pyrite induced foundation heave by chemical and structural assessments. Proceedings of the XVI ECSMGE Geotechnical Engineering for Infrastructure and Development. pp. 2317-2322.

September: Herald.ie reports on a case study of a pyrite home in the Ballymun area (Carton Close). Herald.ie (02.09.15).

August: Irish Independent reports on a case study of a pyrite home in North Dublin. Article suggests the home was constructed fourteen years ago, in 2001. The pyrite problem was identified on the estate “a few” years ago. Irish Independent (05.08.15).

July: Irish Times reports that owners have returned to the first homes remediated under the pyrite remediation scheme. Irish Times (12.07.15).

June: George O’Malley Ind uploads video to YouTube on “The Pyrite Problem in the Erris area of Co.Mayo“. Link to YouTube video (22.06.15).

June: Clare Daly questions the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government on his views on the “recent Tyrell report Homebond’s repudiation of Purchasers Claims – Was it Justified, a Report on the Repudiation by Homebond of Purchasers Claims under the Major Defects Warranty in the Homebond Agreement for Damages caused by Pyritic Heave”. Click here to view response. (11.06.15).

April: Herald.ie reports that the “Department of Environment has blamed Fianna Fail for pyrite homes”. Herald.ie (09.04.15).

February: Paper on the expansion of pyritiferous mudstone-siltstone published by McCabe et al., (click here to read abstract).

February: EU Law Radar Blog posts article on the James Elliott Construction European Court of Justice Case C-613/14. Click here to read post. (15.02.15).

February: Irish Independent reports that there are thousands more pyrite-affected families that do not know about the Pyrite Remediation Scheme than those that have made applications. Irish Independent (10.02.15).

February: Irish Times reports that pyrite problems have been identified in homes in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and south Dublin and that the Pyrite Remediation Scheme would be extended to include these areas. Irish Times (05.02.15).

February: Irish Times reports that since start of operations in February 2014, the Pyrite Remediation Scheme has had 630 applications, of which 485 were successful (met eligibility), of which 300 had been approved for inclusion. Five houses in Fingal have been remediation. Irish Times (05.02.15).

January: Dublin People reports that pyrite has been found at the Dublin Bus depot in Harristown. An arbitration process is underway. Dublin People (19.01.15).

January: YouTube video by Terry Gorry (Solicitor) “beware pyrite when buying a house or apartment” (16.01.15). Link to YouTube.

2014

December: James Elliot Construction vs. Irish Asphalt Limited pyrite case referred to the European Court of Justice following judgment of Supreme Court. Irish Independent (02.12.14).

November: Pyrite Action uploads video to YouTube on “Amendment to Finance Bill – Pyrite LPT Exemption Clare Daly & Catherine Murphy”. Link to YouTube video. (29.11.14).

November: Clare Daly uploads video to YouTube on “Pyrite LPT Exemption”. Link to YouTube video. (27.11.14).

October: Irish Times reports that the High Court Judge has reserved judgement on pre-trial applications below. Irish Times (14.10.14).

October: Irish Times reports that Irish Asphalt and others “contend that adequate particulars of the claims of deceit made against them by James Elliott Construction Ltd (JEC) have not been provided” in the High Court pre-trial applications. Irish Times (10.10.14).

October: Pre-trial applications open (09.10.14) in High Court case between James Elliott Construction and Irish Asphalt Ltd, Lagan Holdings Ltd and three Lagan directors. Irish Times (10.10.14).

October: Construction Industry Federation announce that they will publish a survey of all construction suppliers, in a bid to stop pyrite materials finding their way on to construction sites. CIF News (01.10.14).

September-October: Paper presented in Canada on pyritic heave in Ireland. Reference: Shrimer, F.H., and Briggs, A. (2014). Pyritic heave in Ireland: A case study in selection. Paper presented at the 67th Canadian Geotechnical Conference (GeoRegina 2014). Saskatchewan, Canada, September 28th-October 1st 2014. Link to full paper PDF (permission granted by Fred Shrimer to upload PDF).

August: Construction Industry Federation hosts a briefing on pyrite. See event outline here. (12.08.14).

July: Paudie Coffey (TD, Minister of State for Housing and Planning) explains that 520 applications have been made to the Pyrite Resolution Board. See Youtube statement.

July: The Journal gives a detailed report on a home in Mayo with suspected pyrite problems. The Journal (06.07.14).

June: Video of home in Mayo with suspected pyrite problems uploaded to Youtube. Embedded below:

June: All 25 homes in a scheme at Moneymore, Drogheda to be demolished because of pyrite. Irish Times (26.06.14).

June: 10 homes with pyrite found in concrete blocks demolished.

June: Construction Industry Federation (CIF) creates information page on SR 21 and pyrite. Click here to see information. (10.06.14).

June: Construction Industry Federation (CIF) announces that “all quarries and material suppliers should ensure their products are compliant with the correct standards and free from pyrite”. Read CIF article here. (10.06.14).

June: RTE News reports on the risks of pyrite contamination – considers problems of pyrite in concrete blocks. RTE News (08.06.14).

May: Paper on the effect of sulfate-generated heave on structures published by Finnegan et al., (click here to view abstract).

May: ACEI and RIAI publish warning on pyrite found in Irish concrete blocks.

May: Engineers Ireland host talk titled “The Legacy of Pyrite on Building Developments”, given by Martin Bennett (Chartered Engineer – DBFL).

April: The Journal reports that there had been 418 applications to the Pyrite Resolution Board. The Journal (23.04.14).

March: RTE News reports on pyrite found to have caused damage to external blocks in 15-20 houses in the Erris area of Co. Mayo. Dept. Environment states home owners not eligible for remediation scheme as pyrite not in under-floor fill. RTE News (23.03.14).

March: Mayo News reports on pyrite problems in the Erris area of Co. Mayo. Mayo News (18.03.14).

March: New Irish Building Regulations came into effect.

March: SR. 21:2014 “Guidance on the use of I.S. EN 13242:2002+A1:2007 – Aggregates for unbound and hydraulically bound materials for use in civil engineering work and road construction” updated and published on 28.03.14. See NSAI website.

February: RTE News reports that pyrite-affect home owners can now make applications to the €10m fund. RTE News (26.02.14).

February: William Fry provide an update on legal cases concerning pyrite. Read the update on the William Fry Website (06.02.14).

February: Supreme Court had heard submissions from both JEC and Irish Asphalt in on-going legal case.

February: Pyrite Remediation Scheme comes into action as of 13.02.14. See PDF information from pyriteboard.ie website.

2013

Pyrite Resolution Bill (2013) published.

December: Sinn Fein upload video to YouTube on “Dessie Ellis – Pyrite affected homes must be exempt from Property Tax“. Link to YouTube video. (13.12.13).

December: Pyrite Resolution Act (2013) published and signed into law.

December: IGI hosts all-day pyrite course in Dublin. Programme and presentations all available free online.

November: Reports of possible pyrite problems in concrete blocks in Donegal, possibly 200 homes involved.

November: Engineers Ireland host course titled: “Pyrite Testing and Methodology for Remediation works: key aspects of IS 398 (Parts 1 & 2)”.

October: The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) reports on its website that Fianna Fail has described the €10 million fund for homeowners affected by pyrite as inadequate. CIF Website. (22.10.13).

October: Irish Independent quotes a homeowner stating that a gas leak may have been caused by pyrite problems. Irish Independent (17.10.13).

October: RTE News reports that around 1000 homes had undergone private remediation, at the expense of the owner. RTE News (17.10.13).

October: €10 million of government funding announced for remediation scheme. Intended for remediation of 1000 homes in immediate need of repair. The Journal (16.10.13).

October: RTE News reports that the plan to impose a levy on the quarrying and insurance industry to fund the remediation will not go ahead. RTE (16.10.13).

October: Irish Times quotes Minister Phil Hogan stating that the planned levy “ran into constitutional difficulties”. It would be reviewed once a number of legal cases had gone through the courts. Irish Times (16.10.13).

September: Dessie Ellis uploads video to YouTube on “Ellis raises need for progress on Pyrite resolution“. Link to YouTube video. (25.09.13).

September: Dulbin Gazette Newspapers reports that a planning application for temporary accommodation at St Patrick’s National School in Diswellstown has been lodged to facilitate remediation works on pyrite found in the school’s building. Dublin Gazette Newspapers. (19.09.13).

June: Clare Daly uploads video to YouTube on “Priority Questions on Homebond/Pyrite“. (11.06.13). Link to YouTube video.

June: Engineers Ireland host course titled: “Pyrite Building Condition Assessment Reports: an introduction to the key aspects of IS 398 (Part 1)”.

May: Aidan O’Connell & Associates Ltd upload video to YouTube on “IS398 Part 2 explained: Remediation Works”. (29.05.13). Link to YouTube video.

May: Aidan O’Connell & Associates Ltd upload video to YouTube on “IS-398 Part 1 Building Condition Assessment Report”. (28.05.13). Link to YouTube video.

May: Irish Examiner reports that “Owners forced to leave pyrite-riddled homes for three months”. Irish Examiner (28.05.13).

May: William Fry provide update on the James Elliott Construction Limited v Irish Asphalt Limited legal case. Click here to read the update on the William Fry website. (20.05.13).

May: Independent reports that homeowners may have to pay up to €2,500 for a home survey in order to apply for exemption from property tax due to pyrite problems. Irish Independent (14.05.13).

May: Aidan O’Connell & Associates Ltd upload video to YouTube on “Pyrite Damage and Remedial Work”. (08.05.13). Link to YouTube video.

May: S.I. 147 of 2013 “Finance (local property tax) (pyrite exemption) regulations 2013 published. (07.05.13). Read S.I. 147 here.

May: Úna Fitzgerald and David Sutton contribute article on pyrite expansion and use of waste materials to Engineers Ireland website.

April: New Building Control Regulations (SI No 80 ) were introduced to help prevent further pyrite problems.

March: Irish Building magazine (online) reports that Phil Hogan had provided an update on progress on the pyrite resolution process. Click here to read the update. (25.03.13).

February: Exemption from Property Tax announced for Irish homeowners affected by pyrite problems.

February: Article on New Civil Engineer website reports on the new Irish Standards.

February: Article on New Civil Engineer website reports on the Irish pyrite problem.

February: The Journal reports that the first 60 (of 122) homes at Ballymun (Sillogue 4) had been remediated and were ready for handover. Pyrite was discovered in 2008. (28.02.13).

February: First meeting of Pyrite Remediation Board held. (21.02.13).

February: Irish Times reports that 50 householders In Taylor’s Point, Rush, had brought a High Court case against Logancourt Properties and Murphy Concrete for pyrite problems. Irish Times (12.02.13).

January: Paper published in Engineering Geology journal by Sutton et al., (2013). Paper titled “A laboratory study of the expansion of an Irish pyritic mudstone/siltstone fill material”. Paper available online free here. (18.01.13).

January: EN 1744-1:2009+A1:2012 issued, superseding EN 1744-1:2009 – chemical testing (sulfur-species) of aggregates.

January: NSAI published IS 398-1 and IS 398-2 – Reactive pyrite in sub-floor hardcore material. IS 398-2 came into effect on 29.01.13.

Implications of Pyrite Oxidation for Engineering Works (Brian Hawkins, editor) published, with particular reference to recent problems in Dublin.

2012

December: Pyrite Resolution Board established to oversee remediation of pyrite problems. Merrion Street (19.12.12).

December: Irish Construction Industry Federation (CIF) expresses disappointment concerning news of possible levy. CIF website (18.12.12).

November: Public enquiry stage ends for new Irish Standards 398-1 and 398-2. See details on NSAI website. (17.12.12).

December: The Journal reports that the Irish Government will make pyrite homes exempt from property tax. The Journal (17.12.12).

December: Government announces that a levy on the construction and insurance industries would be used to fund remediation of pyrite damage. The Herald (10.01.13). Irish Independent reports the levy would fund a €50 m redress scheme. Irish Independent (16.12.12).

December: Geotechnical group of Engineers Ireland hosts an annual guest lecture by George Matheson on pyrite-induced swelling – the problems, tests and solutions. (Lecture on 06.12.12).

November: Public enquiry stage begins for new Irish Standards 398-1 and 398-2. See details on NSAI website. (27.11.12).

October: Dessie Ellis uploads video to YouTube on “Ellis calls for state to support families affected by pyrite”. Link to YouTube video. (23.10.12).

October: Joe Higgins uploads video to YouTube on “Joe Higgins TD calls on Minister to intervene immediately to resolve Pyrite crisis“. Link to YouTube video. (22.10.12).

October: Mick Wallace (Wexford Independent TD) writes an article on pyrite problem, stating that Minister Hogan has to deal with the pyrite problem upfront.  Mick Wallace website (21.10.12).

October: Fintan Buggy and Eric Farrell give a presentation (available online) at the 2012 GSI Conference Geotechnics on Irish Roads 2000-2010 (Portlaoise). Authors state “To date pyrite has not been a problem for road construction-probably due to better implementation of QC procedures”. (Presentation on 11.10.12).

September: Deadline approaches for builders, quarry owners and insurers to agree means of funding remedial works for pyrite damage. RTE reports a failure to agree a way forward between the groups. RTE News (28.09.12).

September: Fingal Independent reports that Fingal County Council was asked by a Councillor to put a warning system into place to inform home owners where pyrite has been found. Argument was that potential problem detection could be made early. Fingal Independent (25.09.12).

September: Fingal Independent reports that there were 31 estates across Fingal with pyrite problems. Fingal Independent (25.09.12).

September: Fianna Fail Party upload video to YouTube on “Darragh O’Brien Swords HSE Ambulance cuts & Pyrite 20 09 2012“. Link to YouTube video. (20.09.12).

September: Deadline passes for construction industry to propose solutions to pyrite problem. TD Phil Hogan expresses disappointment at response from industry. Irish Building Magazine news (19.10.12).

September: Paper (by Maher and Gray) on pyrite-induced heave presented at 2012 EIG Conference. Paper can be viewed online here.

August: Alan Farrell uploads video to YouTube on “Alan Farrell TD Speaks on exemption of Pyrite affected houses from Houshold Charge“. Link to YouTube video. (14.08.12).

August: Meath Chronicle reports that the council will remedy pyrite problems in Cherry Court, Summerhill. Testing had been undertaken in 2011. Meath Chronicle (01.08.12).

July: Irish Times reports that the cost of testing for pyrite could be as much as €5,000, at the expense of the home owner. One interviewed home owned claims a quote of €3,500 for testing, which would not be refunded by Premier Guarantee. Irish Times (20.07.12).

July: Breaking News.ie reports that the Construction Industry Federation have urged a non-court solution to pyrite problems. Breaking News.ie (19.07.12).

July: Report of the Pyrite Panel published, six months after the expected publication date. Also published alongside the main report are submissions to the Panel. Published 18.07.12.

July: RTE news reports that estimates of pyrite-affected houses range up to 60,000. RTE News (17.07.12).

July: Irish Times reports on pyrite problems in Ballymun. Pyrite suspected in up to 140 buildings in Owensilla and part of the Carton estate. €10 million pyrite remediation work was underway on 122 other houses. MD of Ballymun Regeneration Ltd states that legal proceedings against Irish Asphalt had been served in an attempt to recover costs. Irish Times (16.07.12).

July: 9th International Conference on Environmental Geochemistry held in Portugal. Azzie et al., (2012) submit a technical paper titled “The Swelling Floor Slab Problem in Ireland”. Paper online here.

July: Dublin People reports around 20,000 people affected by pyrite problems in Ireland. Dublin People (02.07.12).

June: Pyrite discovered in three schools. Irish Independent (11.06.12).

May: Engineers Ireland host all-day seminar titled “Engineering Solutions for Pyrite affected Buildings and Structures”

April: 2012 Pyrite Symposium held at Trinity College, Dublin to consider pyrite problems from an engineering perspective. (Held on 20.04.12).

April: Ballymun Regeneration Ltd begins legal proceedings against Irish Asphalt (Lagan Group) for pyrite problems at 124 homes at Sillogue 4, Ballymun. All under-floor aggregate with problems said to come from the Bay Lane Quarry. RTE News (18.04.12).

April: Irish Times reports that residents moved out of a Dublin senior citizens’ complex following the discovery of pyrite are able to return to their homes. Irish Times (13.04.12).

April: 34th International Conference on Cement Microscopy 2012 held in Halle, Germany. Paper by Shrimer and Bromley (2012) is presented, titled “Pyritic Heave in Ireland: The Role of Petrography”. (Held 1-4.04.12). Link to full paper PDF (permission granted by Fred Shrimer to upload).

April: Irish Concrete Federation issues further follow up submission to the Pyrite Panel. Read submission here.

March: McGarrell Reilly Group issue submission to the Pyrite Panel. Read submission here. (06.03.12).

March: Irish Banking Federation issue submission to the Pyrite Panel. Read submission here. (06.03.12).

February: County and City Managers’ Association issue submission to the Pyrite Panel. Read submission here. (20.02.12).

February: Cronin and Sutton Consulting issue submission to the Pyrite Panel. Read submission here. (17.02.12).

February: Irish Concrete Federation issues follow up submission to the Pyrite Panel. Read submission here.

January: Irish Asphalt issue submission to the Pyrite Panel. Read submission here. (25.01.12).

January: Defects due to pyrite excluded from HomeBond policy terms. Reference: Pyrite Panel Report 2012. (01.01.12).

2011

December: Greenstar Ltd (waste management company) writes to the Environment Protection Agency with concerns that the presence of pyrite in construction materials could be impact the risk profile of landfills. Read the letter here. (12.12.11).

December: Irish Banking Federation issue submission to the Pyrite Panel. Read submission here. (07.12.11).

December: Sutton et al., (2013) submit paper to Engineering Geology journal. Paper considers expansion of Irish pyritic fill. (Submitted 06.12.11). Paper published in 2013.

December: Irish Concrete Federation issues submission to the Pyrite Panel. Read submission here. (06.12.11).

October: High Court decision given in Noreside Construction Ltd. vs. Irish Asphalt Ltd case.

October: Pyrite Action make a presentation to The Joint Oireachtas Comm. on pyrite and the history of the problems. (11.10.11).

September: Pyrite Panel established.

September: Meath Chronicle reports on denial of liability by Homebond. Meath Chronicle (07.09.11).

September: Dublin People reports on homeowners reaction to Homebond decision. Dublin People (07.09.11).

August: HomeBond issue letter to home-owners rejecting liability for pyrite claims. (Letter sent 31.08.11).

June: Further calls for government to setup a pyrite task-force. Irish Independent (01.06.11).

May: Decision given in case of James Elliott Construction Ltd vs. Irish Asphalt. Decision in favour of JEC. William Fry provides excellent summary of the judgment (25.05.11).

May: Fahy Fitzpatrick Group uploads a video to YouTube on “What is Pyrite? – Structural Issues – Fahy Fitzpatrick Consulting Engineers”. Link to YouTube video.

May: Pyrite Action Group formed.

March: Final settlement in Menolly Homes vs. Irish Asphalt (Lagan) case, after 159 court days. No legal liability found and settlement agreed. Trust fund of €25.5m set up to repair damage to homes in north Dublin. RTE News (16.03.11).

2010

December: NRA publishes revision to Roadworks 800 Series specification, with sulfate tolerance criteria relevant to metallic structural elements.

July: 5th July 2010 Meath County Council Meeting Agenda includes an item (number 9.3) submitted by Councillor Maria Murphy, which states “That Meath County Council for reasons of road safety has a report prepared, incorporating appropriate testing on the use of pyrite related rock in the construction of the M3 Motorway (South of Dunshaughlin) where the National Roads Authority has confirmed the use of pyrite related rock as embankment fill and use as a roads base”. Link to meeting agenda (05.07.10).

June: Judge John Gilligan orders ban on the naming of 25 pyrite estates included on a Homebond list. Names and locations of quarries also to be withheld. Irish Independent (23.06.10)

June: Irish Times reports that the National Roads Authority had written to a TD to inform him that pyrite was used in the construction of the M3 motorway in Co Meath. Apparently pyritic material was used “primarily as embankment fill, with some use as roads base”. Irish Times (04.06.10).

April: AIRM Seminar held in Dublin. One of the presentations (available online) by Kevin Currivan (OSG) is titled “Risk Management and the Problems Associated with the Presence of Pyrite Contained in Sub Floor Infill”. (Talk on 21.04.10).

April: RTE News reports that Fine Gael’s Shane McEntee told the OTC that two €500,000 homes in Kentstown, Co. Meath, had exploded because of pyrite. No details of the “explosion” are given. RTE News (08.04.10).

April: Shane McEntee condems use of pyritic aggregate in M3 motorway construction and calls for and independent assessment of the material used. Meath Fine Gael (07.04.10).

April: Irish Times reports that the National Roads Authority (NRA) have acknowledged that infill material for the M3 had been sourced from two quarries from which it was also alleged pyrite had been sourced, but dismissed any suggestion of serious damage to the motorway. It was reported that pyritic material may have been used in embankments. Irish Times. (07.04.10).

March: Meath Chronicle reports that theDail Committee is to quiz the NRA on whether pyrite was used to build M3. Meath Chronicle (18.03.10).

February: Irish Independent describes a pyrite epidemic with up to 20,000 new homes involved. Irish Independent (22.02.10).

EN 13242:2010 published (supersedes 13242:2003).

EN 1744-1:2009 published (supersedes BS EN 1744-1:1998), includes test methods for sulfur-species in aggregates.

2009

October: Irish Independent reports that Park Developments had begun High Court proceedings against Irish Asphalt Ltd (Lagan Group), and Noreside Construction had also issued proceedings against Irish Asphalt Ltd (Lagan Group). Both related to pyrite problems. Lagan reject defects caused by fill from Bay Lane Quarry. Irish Independent (18.10.09).

October: Irish Independent reports that Dublin City Council is investigating 109 buildings and two community centres for pyrite, including housing centres for senior citizens in Griffith Crescent and Cloncarthy. Irish Independent (18.10.09).

September: Irish Times reports that six houses will be demolished in the Avila Estate, Finglas Dublin, because of pyrite. Irish Times (15.09.09).

January: Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, states there are no plans to set up a task force to investigate the pyrite problems. Irish Independent (14.01.09).

Menolly Homes vs. Irish Asphalt case is heard. Mennolly seeks indemnity against  claims it may have to pay to homeowners on the estates of Drynam Hall in Kinsealy, and Beaupark and Myrtle in north Dublin. Irish Independent (18.10.09).

2008

IBCI holds a conference on Building Control, one of the talks considers pyrite problems.

June: James Elliott Construction instigated High Court proceedings against Irish Asphalt following damage to the Ballymun Youth Facility.

May: Amendment (A1) issued to EN 13242 (aggregates) category tables for acid-soluble sulfate and total sulfur.

March: Irish Independent reports that over 400 home-owners in north Dublin intend to sue developers (including Menolly Homes and Kiloe Developments) over pyrite problems. Irish Independent (30.03.08).

2007

November: Menolly Homes (and others) enter a High Court claim for €18 million against Irish Asphalt (Lagan) for pyrite damage. The developments concerned are Drynam Hall (Kinsealy), Beaupark (Clongriffin) and Myrtle at The Coast (Baldoyle). Irish Times (16.11.07).

August: Department of the Environment circulated a letter concerning the problems of pyrite to county managers and local building control authorities. Irish Independent (03.03.10).

August: Major cracks identified at Ballymun Youth Facility, Dublin. (Ref Hawkins and Stevens, 2013).

July: Fingal County Council sends a Building Control notice to developers, quarry owners, the CIF, Homebond and the DECLG describing the recent problems of pyrite in hardcore. (26.07.07, See Pyrite Panel Report).

July: Irish Independent reports that up to 60 homes at Drynam Hall (Kinsealy) may need to have the floors dug up to remove infill containing pyrite, after cracks noticed in floors. Irish Independent (12.07.07).

June: First reports of pyrite problems at Drynam Hall estate, Kinsealy. Irish Independent (17.11.10).

June: Homebond sends a letter to building contractors with a circular intended to be sent to suppliers of aggregate. Circular notes that Homebond have encountered a number of instances where hardcore is not suitable due to expansion. (See Pyrite Panel report).

SR. 21 revised (supersedes SR 21:2004) and notes risk of swelling due to reactive pyrite in aggregates.

2005

September-October: Cracking and defects noticed at Ballymun Youth Facility. At this stage pyrite not known as the cause. BYF was built in 2004-2005. (Ref Hawkins and Stevens, 2013).

2004

December: Concrete floor slabs at Ballymun Youth Facility, Dublin, following placement of pyritic aggregate supplied by Irish Asphalt Ltd.

July: SR 21:2004 (aggregates for unbound and hydraulically bound materials) published in Ireland with total sulfur and acid-soluble sulfate thresholds, not exceeding 1 % S and not exceeding 0.2 % SO4 respectively. SR 21 came into effect on 29.07.04.

May: NRA 800 Series considered acceptable threshold of acid-soluble sulfate of 0.2 % SO4.

Irish Building Regulations Technical Guidance Document C (2004) published. Notes that hardcore should be free of “matter liable to cause damage to the concrete”.

2003

July: EN 13242:2003 published and notes importance of aggregate “producer’s responsibility to ensure that if any dangerous substances are identified, their contents do not exceed the limits in force…” IS EN 13242 also given status as National Standard.

2000

March: NRA 800 Series notes material within 500 mm of concrete should not have more than 1.9 gSO3/litre soluble sulfate. This is revised down from the preceding document.

1998

July: EN 1744-1:1998 published, includes test methods for sulfur-species in aggregates.

1997

Technical Guidance Document C published, notes aggregate should be free from material damaging to concrete.

1996

Possible first recorded Irish case of pyrite damage to a detached house in Co. Clare.

1995

NRA 800 Series notes material within 500 mm of concrete should not have more than 2.5 gSO3/litre soluble sulfate.