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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: As a general rule, if I am a sole trader with a couple of lads working for me, I am probably going to be charged more for products than, say, the big contractors who are able to bulk-buy and to buy early.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: In my last question, if the Minister asked Mr. Brady to do that review in advance of the opening of the scheme, I am sure he could factor in the different costs for the different counties, of Limerick and Clare as well as the north west, which are currently in the scheme, subject to him being asked in advance by the Minister?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: I presume that the sooner the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland get the call from the Minister to undertake that survey, the better for all of us, particularly for the society’s members.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: If there is an opportunity to come back in after my two other colleagues later, please, I will take that.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: Chairman, there is nothing in the 2014 regulations that deals with manufacture of building products; they are about how people build on-site. The 2014 regulations do not relate to what comes out of a quarry or what goes into a block so in that sense the regulations are not in any way relevant to Deputy Calleary's question. My understanding is there have been no reforms of building product...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: That is a stamp. There is no inspection for it.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: That is fine. Mr. Mahon has spoken about the March 2023 report. What is its purpose? If the Government asked the SCSI to do an updated report in advance of the opening of the scheme, what would be different in the March 2023 report to which Mr. Mahon referred earlier?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: But that is literally a stamp; it is not an inspection to get that CE mark.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: Sure. I am sorry for interrupting.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: The starting point is the developer.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: It is inspecting independently before the build.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: No, it is an important question.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: It controls the products as well as the construction.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: None has been brought to our attention.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: Senator Blaney's point is absolutely correct. There has been much cross-Border trade in terms of blocks. What is really remarkable, and we have a very large electoral presence in the adjoining counties, is that we are not getting any reports of properties in the North having defects that were built by block manufacturers in the South. Either they are producing different types of blocks or...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: I apologise; I am eating into people's time.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: Anybody, whether an engineer, a politician or a member of the public, who either has information or believes there has been a breach of building control regulations should contact the National Building Control Office, NBCO, and-or the building control section of the relevant local authority, full stop. The information Mr. O'Connell has given us is very useful. I will certainly be contacting...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: I thank the witnesses for their opening statements. I will rattle through a bunch of questions and if witnesses do not have time to respond, it would be helpful if they send a brief written response to the committee if possible. These questions are aimed at clarifying the legislation to help us scrutinise the Bill in advance of it being introduced in the Dáil next week. In terms of...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government: Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022: Discussion (23 Jun 2022)

Eoin Ó Broin: Yes. Apologies.

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