The following letter was sent today, Friday June 13th to Mr Tony Gilmore, North & East Housing Association:

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Dear Mr Gilmore,

My name is Amanda Gallagher, from County Sligo and myself & my husband were due to commence the self build of our new family home soon. We are currently living in a council house here in Sligo and when the build was complete we would be handing the keys of this house back to the State for another family in need.

We were devastated on March 1st last when Minister Hogan implemented the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, Statutory Instrument Number 9. This legislation states that to build a house or extension one must employ a main building contractor. We can no longer choose our own preferred registered tradesmen – it is a terrible unjust law.

Minister Hogan introduced this legislation, he says, to prevent another ‘Priory Hall’ or Pyrite cases. The current, unfortunate situation your Association and your future tenants find yourselves in, tells a different story.

Priory Hall, the past pyrite cases and indeed your own project there in Moneymore all stem from a system of ‘self regulated’ construction. Major issues are overseen, missed and let through due to the absence of Independent Inspections – with disastrous outcomes, but I don not need to inform you of this.

Please read this article on Pyrite & Assigned Certifiers:

We are in a campaign to request that Minister Hogan revokes this current legislation and implements the fair solution that has been put to him – a system formulated by two past presidents of the RIAI, here is a link to that system for you to read:

Here is a letter that Mr O’Cofaigh, a past president of the RIAI, wrote recently to Mick Wallace TD, please take a minute to read it – it is most relevant:

The current system of self regulation of the construction sector has caused devastation among ordinary families in Ireland – the victims of Priory Hall, the victims of Pyrite (and as a consequence the Taxpayer), the future tenants of your homes in Moneymore, my family and other self builders, many ordinary people are affected by this scandalous system – it is quite clear that it has failed and will continue to fail going forward. Houses are so expensive for the consumer – the very least the future owner deserves is a third party who inspects all aspects of the build.

This legislation has increased Local Authority Housing Lists as we are one of many who must continued to be housed by the State – this is tragic. We had a tiny budget, Raymond is an electrician, we would have hired a few tradesmen also – it was our way at owning our own property – something solid to leave our five children one day. It is so sad that this will never happen now, I am sure your future tenants feel the same as us now as their plans are in disarray.

I hope you are of the same sentiment as myself and if so, please promote the Independent Inspectorate among your colleagues and local & national political representatives – if we all work together then common sense has to prevail!

I am available of you would like any further information.

Regards to you at this difficult time.

Amanda Gallagher