Woodland Park Halting Site must be refurbished immediately – Adams
Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams today went to the offices of Louth County Council in Dundalk to meet with members of the travelling community who have been evicted from their homes at Woodland Park.
Speaking from Dundalk Gerry Adams said:
“This matter has been handled disgracefully. It is clearly unfair and unjust to evict up to 70 people from their homes with no plan in place for where they might go.
“I have spoken to the people here today and they have informed me that 20 children and a number of pregnant women have been made homeless on the coldest weekend of the winter.
“A number of women have told me that they slept in their cars since Friday’s eviction. This is simply not good enough.
“To the best of my knowledge local councillors were not informed of this decision in advance and had no opportunity to object to this eviction.
“I have requested the Chief Executive of Louth County Council to provide me with information on the options which were considered prior to this mass eviction. This information has not been forthcoming to date.
“The Government has engineered a housing crisis in Louth and across the State. 5000 people are currently on the waiting list for social housing in County Louth and in 2015 the local authority built no social housing whatsoever.
“However there is funding available for traveller accommodation programmes and I have written to the Chief Executive of Louth County Council to ask that this is urgently drawn down in order to fulfil the statutory obligation to fully refurbish and properly maintain Woodland Park.
“The evicted families all want to remain there and indeed I am aware of even greater demand for halting site accommodation among the travelling people of Dundalk.
“The refurbishment of Woodland Park in adherence with health and safety legislation is not only the decent thing to do it is the least costly alternative.
“I intend to raise this issue with the Environment Minister and local Sinn Féin representatives will be attending meetings with Council officials tomorrow in an effort to resolve this impasse.”