Adams urges Minister to support Emergency site for Traveller families
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, and Rebecca Quinn representing the Traveller families evicted from the Woodland Park site in Dundalk in January, this morning met Simon Coveney, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government.
Speaking afterward Gerry Adams TD said:
“This was a useful meeting and I will also be meeting Louth County Council.
“The focus of our discussion this morning was to stress to the Minister the importance of providing a temporary emergency halting site in Dundalk to accommodate some of those families who were evicted from the Woodland Park site in January.
“We urged the Minister to use the powers and resources available to him to achieve this urgent option.
“Sinn Féin will continue to work with the Louth CEO to resolve this issue.
“Currently there are a small number of Traveller families who are being forced to live on illegal sites.
“Constantly using An Garda Síochána to move these families from one illegal site to the next lacks compassion and common sense and is a poor use of Garda resources.
“There needs to be a holistic approach by government and local authorities to efficiently use the funding available from government to build Traveller specific accommodation.
“It is a fact, confirmed again in the report of the European Committee of Social Rights, that this state has provided insufficient accommodation for Travellers. In addition, many of the sites that exist are in a poor state of repair, are badly located, and there is a lack of water, poor refuse collection and persistent problems with damp, flooding and sewage.
“Louth County Council is committed to upgrading the Woodland Park site and is carrying out an audit of Traveller families in Louth. All of this is important. An equally important measure, which would defuse much of the current difficulties, would be the provision of an emergency temporary site. This would not cost Louth county council a cent but would end the practice of evictions.”