Legal 500

“Bruno Herbots is applauded as ’offering insight that would not be obvious to clients”

“Many consider him [Bruno Herbots] a young star with the ‘X’ factor in construction and procurement law”


“Practice head Bruno Herbots handles all aspects of construction and public procurement law. Clients appreciate his inventive solutions as well as the international experience gained from a number of jurisdictions”

“A “charismatic legal strategist” who is “very well versed in contract law and always available,” according to impressed sources.”

“Commended for being readily accessible and pleasant to deal with”

“Bruno Herbots is recommended as ‘a hard-working lawyer who is always pushing for the best result’. Recent highlights for the team include advising the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board on the development of the National Paediatric hospital Project”

“Construction and Procurement Department Head, Bruno Herbots has experience in both construction and projects, having applied his ‘thorough, pragmatic and efficient work ethic’ to some of the country’s major PPP projects, particularly in the rail sector.”

“Top notch on construction and procurement matters.”


Radon gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas.  The gas seeps up through the earth and through the subfloor of homes.  It cannot be detected by humans in the house because it has no smell or colour. It can however be detected by specialised equipment, but this takes time: currently three months.

Radon gas has been linked to an estimated 200 lung cancer deaths per annum and it is in the interests of anyone buying a house to have regard to it.  Areas of high radon concentrations include parts of Wicklow, Carlow, Wexford, Waterford, Galway, Mayo and Sligo, but no county is completely free of it.

Since July 1998, builders have been obliged to install a membrane over the footprint of each new building. This is to prevent radon gas getting into the house from the ground. In addition, they are obliged to provide for a means of radon extraction from the sub-floor (under the membrane) by means of a sump or sumps, with connecting pipework to an access point outside the house. A post-construction test for radon is strongly recommended.

If you are buying a site, you should make sure that a radon barrier and the necessary sump or sumps and pipework are installed at the appropriate stage, because it is just not practicable to retrofit a radon barrier.

If you are buying a house and intend to carry out renovations to it, you should ensure to incorporate radon protection, which is not an expensive job. Current practice is to install a radon sump plus mechanical ventilation from it. You or your surveyor should check the map available from the Radiological Protection section of the EPA and find out whether the property you are interested in is in a high-risk area.

You should also ask the seller if he had the property tested for radon gas.  You can apply to the EPA and they will carry out a radon measurement of a home for a modest fee.  This can be arranged online. It involves having a small, neat device a bit bigger than a match box in the house for three months and then returned for analysis.

If the vendor of the property you’re considering had the house tested, you should ask for a copy of the test results.  In theory, if you are buying a house which was built since 1998, you should have nothing to worry about, on the assumption that the builder installed the radon barrier properly with the necessary sump.

However, there is no way of knowing quickly if the barrier is installed or effective, because it will be completely inaccessible.  A radon barrier can reduce radon gas by 99% but the reduction can be as low as 60%. The probability is that the only way of checking would be to have a radon test done, but currently this will take three months.

If you are buying a house and it is in a high-risk area and neither you nor the vendor are in a hurry, you should consider whether you should make it a condition of the contract that a test be carried out, and if the test is not well within the official safe levels for houses, be in a position to withdraw from or renegotiate the deal.

As soon as you move into a new house, you should have it checked for radon gas.