I have just sent this letter to Engineers Ireland…

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Dear Engineers Ireland,

I write to you regarding a recent article that I read on the Engineers Journal.ie. entitled ‘Building Control Regulations & Ancillary Certificates’ written by Mr Cormac Bradley (see here: http://www.engineersjournal.ie/building-control-regulations-s-9-2014-going/ ), whom I believe represented you at the now infamous talks on the BC(A)R 2014.

In his article, Mr Bradley cites an example of a self build that he was asked to advise recently and states:

“There had been much voiced protest by potential self-builders that the new Regulations would prevent owners doing their own building works and the Minister went to great pains to explain that this practice was not being outlawed, but that there were additional responsibilities attached to this undertaking under the new regime of building control…

The example cited here is indicative of the confusion that potential self-builders generated…”

Myself & my husband are one of these potential self builders Mr Bradley speaks of – we were so looking forward to building our dream home – my husband is a qualified electrician – and a most competent person to take charge of the construction of our home. However, as I am quite sure at this stage, yourselves and Mr Bradley know full well that self building is now outlawed in Ireland, and for us to read an article stating the opposite on the Engineers Journal is most distressing.

It beggars belief that seemingly intelligent, educated people as yourselves would ever have come up with such an incoherent mess as SI 9. While it is totally understandable, as you had a vested interest in the outcome, it was so unfair on people who want to self build and the very least we deserved was the truth on the matter, instead what has ensued has been a ‘rollercoaster of confusion’ but at no stage has that confusion sprung from ‘potential’ self builders.

It is deeply upsetting for Mr Bradley to state that self builders generated confusion, when the very essence of SI 9 is confusion itself. Maybe that is why it took two years to formulate, to create confusion to the Nation – so that we all run around seeking answers and we take our eye of the ‘ball’, which is that the SI 9 protects no-one in the country save Building Contractors and soon only CIRI registered ones.

The former Minister, Phil Hogan, did absolutely nothing to alleviate the confusion, in fact, he escalated it! And now, Mr Bradley is continuing this trend with his recent article.

Here is a quick reminder of some of the confusion that we have encountered over the past year:

• January last – the CIF confirm self building will end on March 1st, 2014 – http://bregsforum.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/cif-self-building-no-longer-possible-after-march-1st-2014/

• January last at your CPD – yourselves, the Dept, the CIF & the RIAI unanimously agree that self building will end on March 1st, 2014: ‘owners undertaking the role of builder would be non-compliant…’

• February last, at a RIAI CPD, confirmation that self building will end on March 1st, 2014 http://bregsforum.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/riai-suggest-self-building-not-possible-after-1st-march-2014-bcar-si-9/

• Numerous statements from the former Minister that: ‘Self building can continue as before…’

• The Law Society advised your members and other professionals not to undertake the role of Assigned Certifier for self builders: http://bregsforum.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/law-society-guidance-note-on-bcar-si-9/

• Our own lawyer confirms that we cannot sign the certificates within SI9 claiming to be a principal or director of a building company.

• Our own architect quoted us his fee for Assigned Certifer, but adds ‘…on the assumption that a competent building contractor is appointed.’

• Another self builder seeks an assigned certifier and receives quotes from SIX members of your organisation, who all request a building contractor is employed as well as extortionate fees…

• Former Minister, Phil Hogan, sparks controversy in the Dail when he accuses professionals of operating Cartel Rings in relation to Assigned Certifier fees…

It is uncanny that Mr Bradley uses the words ‘potential self builders’ in his ‘story’, as this is all Ireland has left in the aftermath of SI 9, myself included, we are now and forever, ‘potential’ self builders, we will never be ‘actual’ self builders – Mr Bradley and his collaborators have ensured this.

However, I may be missing something, and perhaps Mr Bradley could clarify a couple of things for me – (bearing in mind that we are not building contractors):

• On the Certificate of Completion and indeed, the Undertaking by Builder declaration, where exactly does a self builder sign their name, as we can only see a provision made for a Principal or Director of a Building Company only

• Is the self builder in his story a Principal or Director of a Building Company?

• If not, then can Mr Bradley please forward the contact details of the ‘brother’ in his story who is the Assigned Certifier for his self builder brother, as it is impossible to find such a rare catch in Ireland, that is, of course, if he really exists!

Looking forward to you clarifying these serious issues for us and hoping that you think twice before publishing confusing material on the Engineers Journal,

Kind regards,

Amanda Gallagher