CLAIMS OF BAD PRESS AND UNFAIR TREATMENT AS TRAVELLERS MOVE ON
As a group of Travellers who had set up an illegal encampment near Mitchelstown moved out from the area over last weekend, a full time worker with a Traveller support group, who did not wish to be identified, contacted The Avondhu to express her concerns that Travellers were getting a bad press and being unfairly treated by local authorities throughout the country.
Her concerns followed a recent report in The Avondhu of an illegal halting site, which had been established at the Kildorrery roundabout on the Mitchelstown relief road. The Travellers at the site, having been asked to move on by Cork County Council, apparently ignored a deadline to do so and the number of caravans had actually increased.
However, the Travellers group moved away from the roundabout over last weekend, leaving the area in a relatively tidy condition.
The caller to The Avondhu said that such occurrences were common place each summer as Travellers adopted the Nomadic lifestyle and made temporary stops while on the way to the various horse fairs like Cahirmee and Killorglin. She claimed that local authorities throughout the country had given a commitment some years ago to providing ‘transient halting sites’ during the summer months.
The support worker further claimed that this was introduced after the ‘boulder campaign’ of the 1980s debarred Travellers from entering sites where they normally parked during such journeys. She said that many older Travellers were suffering severe depression as a result of these parking difficulties and other anti itinerant issues.
The caller to this newspaper welcomed what she claimed was a change of attitude by the gardai who she said now rarely get involved in moving Travellers from halting sites.
When it was put to her that halting sites were often left in a filthy and unkempt state after Traveller groups vacated these areas, she accepted that this was sometimes the case but blamed the lack of proper services for much of this problem.
Thursday 26th June 6:03pm