The following letter was sent to Mr Robin Mandal, RIAI today, May 26th – this is my 5th attempt at getting answers to serious self build issues – the silence from the RIAI, a key stakeholder, is deafening…

Dear Robin,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am very disappointed at this stage with the treatment that we have received from the DOECLG and indeed from the RIAI – one blatantly misinforms us, the other puts up a wall of silence.

I am still awaiting a response from the RIAI on your position regarding advice to your members on the stance of self building. I would appreciate it if you do not forward my request to Mr Graby as he has already issued misinformation to my husband live on a Radio Interview in February so I would be most weary of his advice – I hope you can appreciate this.(a complaint has been sent to the Ombudsman https://amandagallagherblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/2nd-complaint-to-ombudsman/ )

Robin, the RIAI is not acting in a professional manner by avoiding my request for clarity regarding self building – . In fact, I would get more clarity from my two year old son than I have gotten from officials in the RIAI, the DOECLG and members of the Fine Gael Party.

You know, I am absolutely appalled at seemingly intelligent, professional people in our Government, the RIAI and the Department who act in such a juvenile fashion. You were all present and bold at the talks to formulate this unjust legislation, and you were all in agreement at the Engineers Ireland CPD on January 17th that self building is not possible under S.I. 9 – and yet, when the truth emerges and self builders request information – you avoid and dodge questions and refuse to answer / advise which shows a complete and utter lack of professionalism and more worryingly a lack of backbone.

The RIAI have lost serious credibility due to this self build debacle, as have this current Government – the tense situation has now driven a Government Minister to launch an unhinged, incorrect rant in a Letter to the Editor (Irish Times – Friday, May 23rd) – I know that the RIAI have many fine, honest, talented and professional members and they have my utmost sympathy during this difficult time. I do hope that the you can claw back some credibility for the reputation of the Institute – one way that this could be achieved would be to answer my most pressing queries.

Here, once again, is the information we require:

1. Notwithstanding the IAOSB complaint to the attorney general, the RIAI appear to have assumed a position on self-building in agreement with DOELG advice- that it can proceed under S.I. 9 at present- is this correct?

2. If this is RIAI policy then one could assume the RIAI can, against law society advice, recommend members not to excuse themselves from design and assigned certifier roles for self-builders- is this correct?

3. One would also assume RIAI has obtained legal advice this position is correct, on behalf of members, and if so would the RIAI be so kind as to furnish this to IAOSB and self-builders? Confirmation of a senior council opinion on this would help clarify current misinformation at present.

4. If RIAI have policy on self building in line with above points, now, in advance of the mandatory CIRI register introduction in March 2015, can they confirm this to IAOSB and self-builders?

5. If the DOECLG are correct and members of the RIAI are in fact, willing to act as Assigned Certifiers for self builders, then a list of these members must be drawn up with immediate effect and sent out to the IAOSB and myself.

6. There is a solution to all our worries in the form of the ‘Collins & O’Cofaigh – A Better Way’ system of building control – yourself and the entire RIAI should be most proud and supportive of this system of building control – in light of this, I would like to know if you can promote this system to Minister and the DOECLG at your earliest convenience?

The Ombudsman recently sent me out an 8 page report he received from the DOECLG, in which they tried to justify why it took so long for them to respond to me – this is incredible! – the answers to my questions should have only taken up one paragraph if they had responded to my first letter months ago – instead they had to type up 8 pages of ‘excuses’ on why they didn’t answer! I do hope this will not be the case with the RIAI – simple answers to the five queries above will suffice – but time is paramount now.

Regards to you at this most difficult time in the construction sector,

Mrs Amanda Gallagher