FRUSTRATION AT ILLEGAL HALTING SITE
Reports in Mitchelstown suggest that the number of Travellers at the illegal halting site on the Canon’s field in the centre of the town has grown in the last week. The halting site had been set up last month on the site owned by the Mitchelstown Leisure Centre committee.
Furthermore it has been revealed that some of the families involved in the settlement have been offered housing by Cork County Council, which they have chosen to decline. Ben Lynch, chairman of the committee has admitted that the situation is frustrating for those involved.
“This has been the case for nearly two months now,” Mr. Lynch told The Avondhu, “and we are anxious to get them out of the Canon’s field but to do it without confrontation. We are in regular contact with the gardai on the matter and if it means that we have to go to court to resolve the issue we will.”
It is believed that a lock on a gate to the site was broken in the last couple of months, and that large rocks from the entrance to the field, put in place by the site’s owners, were moved aside also.
“When the Canon’s field is cleared we will take measures to try and ensure that this does not happen again, and if it does, that any illegal settlers won’t be in the position to stay there for long. We are frustrated that it is taking so long to make progress, but the last thing we want is confrontation that is bad for anyone involved or for Mitchelstown.”
Margaret Meehan, a support worker with the North Cork Travellers group, this week told The Avondhu that their organisation is aware of the current situation.
“The families involved are on the housing list and this situation has been brought up at the local Traveller Accommodation Consultation committee. We are working with the council to seek a solution to the problem.”
“One lady was offered housing in Mitchelstown but she declined the offer as she did not feel the standard of the house was suitable. We are aware of families who are members of the travelling community who have been offered accommodation who have, for whatever reason, decided against accepting the offer.”
The spokesperson emphasised that the group is working closely with Cork County Council to find a resolution that will benefit all involved.
Thursday 24th July 6:38pm