Complete index to the Science and Societal Impacts of Defective Concrete Conference, Letterkenny, Donegal, 2022-11-15


Conference Opening - Hosts and Organising Committee

Eileen Doherty (Ulster University)

Joe Morgan (EU Petitioner)

John O'Connor (Appointed by Minister of Housing, Darragh O'Brien, as Homeowner Liaison) Update on the Enhanced Grant Scheme for the Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks in their Construction

Damien Owens (Registrar, Engineers Ireland)

Martin McDermott (Chair of Defective Blocks Steering Committee, Donegal County Council)

Round Table Discussion - The Social Impacts of Defective Concrete (Chaired by Dr Eileen Doherty & Mr Joe Morgan)

Participants introduce themselves

Eileen Doherty puts question to John O'Connor

Eileen Doherty puts question to Damien Owens

Joe Morgan puts question to Martin McDermott

Joe Morgan puts question to Lisa Hone (Chair of Mica Action Group)

Eileen Doherty puts question to Angeline Ruddy (School Teacher & Affected Homeowner)

Joe Morgan puts question to Ann Owens (Homeowner Advocate, Donegal)

Debbie McCoy (State of Connecticut, Lead Advocate, USA) puts question to John O'Connor

Noel McGann puts question to John O'Connor

Round Table Discussion - The Science of Defective Concrete (Chaired by Prof Paul Dunlop)

Paul Dunlop introduces round table

Debbie McCoy (State of Connecticut, Lead Advocate, USA) introduction

Eoin McGrath (Senior Geologist and Head of the Minerals Program at Geological Survey of Ireland, member of the Minerals Resources Expert Group EuroGeoSurveys) introduction

Thomas Campbell (Director of TA Group & Chartered Engineer on IS465 register of engineers) introduction

Dr Andreas Leemann (Research at Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Switzerland) introduction

Nick Scaglione (Concrete Research & Testing, USA) introduction

Dr Kurt Aasly (Head of Mineral Production & HSE research group, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway) introduction

Professor Benoît Fournier (Research scientist at Department of Geology and Engineering Geology of Laval University, Canada) introduction

Paul Dunlop asks Eoin McGrath what is mica, pyrite and pyrrhotite

Paul Dunlop asks what do these minerals do in concrete

Answer from Nick Scaglione

Answer from Dr Andreas Leemann

Paul Dunlop asks what does mica do to concrete

Answer from Dr Andreas Leemann

Paul Dunlop asks what limits are acceptable for deleterious minerals

Eoin McGrath answers

Paul Dunlop asks Andreas Leeman what limits for mica apply

Paul Dunlop asks Benoit Fournier about his research experience with aggregates in Cananda

Paul Dunlop asks how does mica stand up in the cold climates where the experts come from

Andreas Leeman answers

Benoit Fournier answers

Nick Scaglione answers

Paul Dunlop asks what the experts think of the aggregates they've seen in Ireland so far

Andreas Leeman answers

Nick Scaglione answers

Eoin McGrath answers

Debbie McCoy asks if in Ireland quarries had run tests that accept, reject or limit aggregates the defective concrete blocks crisis could have been avoided

Eoin McGrath answers

Debbie McCoy gives a perspective

Paul Dunlop asks based on the experiences with problem foundations in the US and Canada, shouldn't tests be conducted on foundations in Ireland if there is pyrrhotite in the aggregate (foundations are currently excluded from IS465)

Benoit Fournier answers

Paul Dunlop asks what are the big research questions that need to be asked regarding concrete in Ireland

Thomas Campbell

Paul Dunlop explains some of the research that is going on in. And asks again what topic need attention.

Andeas Leeman answers

Cllr Frank McBrearty asks a question

Thomas Campbell answers

Debbie McCoy answers

Paul Dunlop asks Debbie McCoy, bearing in mind new research is to be undertaken in Ireland, how much funding for research was allocated in the US

Debbie McCoy answers

Nick Scaglione answers

Question from the floor asking if additional cement nullifies the effect of deleterious minerals in concrete

Andreas Leeman answers


Eileen Doherty delivers talk titled What lessons were Learnt from 'pyrite'/pyrite heave & how have these impacted on the 'mica'/defective blocks crisis?

Ann Owens delivers talk titled Victims of Failure

Angeline Ruddy (Secondary school teacher, Moville Community College) delivers talk titled School Testimony - The impacts of defective concrete blocks on the lives of secondary school students

Eileen McLaughlin Long delivers a talk titled Family testimony - The impacts of living in a defective concrete block home (THIS WAS ONE OF 2 TALKS THAT GOT A STANDING OVATION)

Dr Karen Kirby (Ulster University, School of Psychology) delivered a talk titled Measuring the scale of the mental health & well-being impact of affected homeowners in Ireland

Joe Morgan reads a talk written by an Anonymous Affected Business Owner from Donegal

Declan Meehan (Chair of Ray Community Centre & Manager of Milford District) titled Community Centers in Rural Ireland impacted by defective block

Denise McCool (Inishowen Development Partnership IDP) gave a talk titled - IDP / Inishowen Family Action Network IFAN community response Programme for mica affected families


Introduction to session by Paul Dunlop

Dr Andeas Leeman delivered a talk titled The mica crisis in Donegal - a case of internal sulphate attack

Grant March asked what Dr Leeman's thoughts are on the words of an engineer on the NSAI IS465 Committee (not present in the meeting) who descibed the crisis in Ireland as a mica crisis in the north west and a pyrite crisis everywhere else.

[2022-04-24 RTÉ Radio 1 This Week]

Question from the floor can the effects of sulphate attack be thwarted if tackled early enough, eg. through outer leaf replacement

Nick Scaglione (Concrete Research & Testing, USA) delivered a talk titled Petrographic Examinations of Pyrrhotite-Bearing Aggregates

Question from the floor asks about a white powder on wall

Question from the floor asking if 20 years is an average for damage to show in foundations

Question from the floor asking what aggregate testing should be done in quarries before people start rebuilding their houses

Dr Robbie Goodhue (Senior Experimental Officer, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) delivered a talk titled Water in masonry concrete

Eileen Dohety asks if blocks blocks that are not above 7.5 newtons should be removed from a building because at the minute that is not the threshold the council uses to remove blocks

Dr Andreas Leeman gives his view

Lisa Hone asks if wetness in blocks causes problems then why is it happening now when good quality homes have lasted for decades and centuries in Donegal

Question from the floor asking if the need for 13.5 newton blocks are justified for the outer leaf, is it not very dangerous to allow both 7.5 and 13.5 blocks on site given the way a cavity wall house is constructed with a block for the outer leaf followed by a block for the inner leaf

Professor Josée Duchesne (Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Laval University, Québec City, Canada ) delivered at a talk title Overview of the Trois-Rivières Pyrrhotite Issues in Québec, Canada: Background, Research Initiatives and Canadian Standard

Continued by Bernoit Fournier from the same research institute

Dr Kurt Aasly (Head of Mineral Production & HSE research group, Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway) titled Identification of sulphur and sulphide minerals in aggregates for concrete

Dr Kay Wille (School of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, USA) delivered a talk titled Pyrrhotite in Concrete - Research & Field Testing in Connecticut & Massachusetts


Joe Morgan introduction to this session

Debbie McCoy (State of Connecticut, Lead Advocate, USA) delivered a talk titled Legislation comparative on defective concrete from the USA

Luke Ming Flanagan (MEP) delivered a talk titled EU Parliament Update on Irish defective concrete (THIS WAS THE SECOND TALK TO GET A STANDING OVATION)

Joe Morgan (EU Petioner) delivered a talk titled Session overview & EU Petitions Committee Update


Eileen Doherty closes conference

[A proper website will be coming soon]