CLLRS. ADDRESS VEXED ISSUE OF TRAVELLER ENCAMPMENTS
The only reward Mitchelstown has got for making a very serious attempt to house members of the Travelling community is to be inundated with illegal encampments. That was the view expressed by Fianna Fail councillor, Kevin O’Keeffe at this week’s meeting of Cork County Council in Mallow.
Speaking forcefully on the issue Cllr. O’Keeffe said the situation was unfair, totally unacceptable and needed to be addressed.
“I think the council have done more than their fair share regarding the provision of houses for members of the Travelling community. And what do we get in return, a wild fire situation regarding totally illegal encampments, I think it’s an extraordinary situation when Travellers can arrive with a mini digger, clear obstructions and occupy a prominent site in the town” Cllr. O’Keeffe told fellow councillors and council staff.
Party colleague Cllr. Frank O’Flynn shared these concerns. “A lot of people in Mitchelstown are forming the belief that the town is being surrounded by Traveller encampments, they’re genuinely concerned and as public representatives we must reflect that concern.
"I think we need a firm policy on the matter and I’m calling on the relevant authorities to do everything they can to deter people acting in this manner”.
It was left to senior housing officer Michael Cremin to respond. Mr. Cremin said that the situation regarding Traveller encampments was ‘difficult and frustrating’.
He went on to explain that the council had recognised procedures in dealing with the situation – these included working closely with social workers and An Garda Siochana.
“I appreciate where the councillors are coming from and can only reiterate that the situation is both difficult and frustrating” he said.
Thursday 16th July 6:08pm