Council motion puts Traveller rights in jeopardy in Stillorgan - Rosie Ní Laoghaire
Sinn Féin’s local area representative in Stillorgan Rosie Ní Laoghaire has criticised Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Independent Councillors this evening who supported a motion which seeks a valuation of a designated Traveller Accommodation site in Stillorgan without its T/A designation.
Ms Ní Laoghaire said she fears this could lead to plans to sell the site disregarding the rights of travellers to a home in the Stillorgan area.
Speaking tonight after the local area meeting in Dundrum Ní Laoghaire said;
“A year after the Travelling community has had their ethnicity recognised by the State, this could be seen by the Travelling community as a slap in the face and threatens to undo any progress that has been made.
“The passing of Fine Gael’s motion will mean that the council will now seek a monetary valuation of this Mount Merrion site without the “T/A” Traveller Accommodation designation. This is indefensible in my opinion.
“To make matters worse, the DLR Traveller Consultative Committee were not even consulted.
“On top of that many of the Dún Laoghaaire Rathdown Traveller sites are overcrowded. This clearly demonstrates the need for Traveller accommodation in the area. There is no other Traveller accommodation in the Stillorgan area.
“A pitiful excuse was used that this valuation would assist in the preparation of the Council’s Capital Plan. This doesn’t hold water because the Capital Plan runs until 2020 and the designation cannot be changed until the next County Development Plan in 2023. This was confirmed by the head of Forward Planning in this evening’s Council meeting.
“This site has been idle for years and the only reason it hasn’t been developed is because of political cowardice. I believe that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáíl singled out, and plan to sell this particular site to the highest bidder, in the process disregarding the rights of Travellers to a home in the Stillorgan Area.
“This is unconscionable in my opinion. In essence, this represents Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and Independents putting money before the interests of a recognised ethnic group.”