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CRH statement on pending litigation

30 September 2002

As part of its ongoing review procedures, senior Group management has recently learned that certain of its operating companies have been named in asbestos litigation. CRH does not believe that this litigation will have a material impact on the financial position of the Group.

Companies in CRH’s distribution group in the United States have been named, together with a large number of other unrelated parties, in 244 pending cases involving a total of 251 claimants. These cases allege personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos in products manufactured by others and allegedly distributed by companies in the distribution group prior to ownership by CRH. To date, the companies have disposed of 33 cases for an aggregate amount of $80,300. A very small number of cases against CRH subsidiaries outside of the distribution group are also pending.

CRH believes that these claims are without merit. The companies involved and the relevant insurance carriers are co-operating to defend these cases and to settle only on a minimal, pragmatic basis. The companies have never suffered an adverse judgement in a trial court proceeding related to these asbestos cases. Based on its review and the nature of these cases, CRH does not believe that the outcome of any pending actions will have a material adverse impact on the financial position, results of operations or cash flows of the Group.

This document includes certain "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty, changes in circumstances and other factors which could affect the outcome of these cases. Actual results may differ materially from these expectations.

Contact: +353 (0) 1 404 1000

Liam O’Mahony Chief Executive
Harry Sheridan Finance Director
Myles Lee General Manager - Finance
Tom Hill CEO Oldcastle Materials Group

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