Letterkenny houses undergo DCB test before proposed sale to council 

written by Staff Writer July 3, 2024

Main pic: Phil Boyle explaining the Defective Concrete Block (DCB) testing process to Ballymacool residents.

Nine houses in the Ballymacool area of Letterkenny are currently undergoing ‘rigorous block testing’ ahead of a proposed sale to Donegal County Council.


The landlord, Phil Boyle of Twins Estates, said he has been given assurances by the council that they remain committed to the purchase under the Tenant in Situ Scheme.

Last October, residents had received eviction notices from the company as a result of a planned sale of homes in the estate.

Mr Boyle has now engaged a chartered civil engineer to remove core samples from the houses in order to carry out Defective Concrete Block (DCB) testing.

Testing normally takes up to 12 weeks, therefore results are expected to be with the council in the middle of September.

“The County Council’s Chartered Structural Engineer will then review the Geologist/Laboratory Report and provide advice to the council so that they can either proceed or not proceed with the acquisition,” Mr Boyle explained.


He has been given assurances, he added, that if the tests yield good results, then the council will proceed to acquire the properties.

Mr Boyle is ‘quite confident’ that the results will be positive.  

“I have sold a number of houses in the same estate and have had testing carried out. All tests to date have produced good results,” he said.

Mr Boyle said he has been working with the council since last October, when the company decided to sell a number of houses at Ballymacool.  

The council identified nine houses as being of interest to them at that time.

“With regards these nine houses, I want to assure the families facing eviction that I am doing everything possible to ensure that the council proceeds with the purchases,” he stressed.

“I completely understand that the notices of termination issued last October had taken residents by surprise and was causing them great stress. The huge demand for housing in Ireland coupled with the current “Mica” issues in Donegal makes seeking new accommodation so much more challenging.”

Mr Boyle stated that five other houses that were offered for sale by the company in the same estate were purchased privately by the sitting tenant.

He said he also offered four other houses to the Housing Agency under the Cost Rental Tenant in Situ Scheme but, unfortunately, they have declined to proceed with their acquisition.