Resources spent on Louth evictions would have been better spent on making site safe
February 5th: Trade union Unite today expressed serious concern at the plight of twenty-three Traveller families in the Dundalk area whom Louth Co. Council, citing health and safety concerns, has evicted from their home site in Woodland Park.
Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said: “The evicted families have the support of Unite and our members in the community sector and Traveller Community Development Projects across the island of Ireland. Unite believes the resources spent on the evictions would have been better spent making the current site safe until a long term solution could be found. It is our understanding that Louth County Council has so far offered no acceptable or appropriate solution to the families accommodation needs.”
Unite activist Úna Ryan – who works with the Waterford Traveller Community Development Project – added:
“Evictions onto the side of the road and into car parks leave Traveller families even more vulnerable as Councils will then use the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2002 to move them on again and again.
“Right across the Republic of Ireland, Traveller Accommodation Plans – mandated by the Traveller Accommodation Act 1998 – remain unrealised, and over the last number of years funds allocated for Traveller accommodation have not been drawn down by many Local Authorities.
“In fact, 17 years and four National Traveller Accommodation Programmes later, 2,000 Travellers are currently living in unauthorised sites or are sharing with other families. The Irish state has totally failed Traveller families and in many cases has not provided for even their most basic needs”, Una Ryan concluded.