TRAVELLERS VACATE TOWN PARK
A group of Travellers that had located a number of mobile homes at the O'Connell Park in Mitchelstown moved out again on this Wednesday morning following intervention by gardai.
The Travellers moved on to the site over the weekend and a large fire was started within 30 metres of gas storage and pumping station, which is adjacent to the grotto at the gates of the site. Units of Mitchelstown Fire Brigade were called to the fire at the proposed town park site across from The Firgrove Hotel on Sunday night last.
Cllr Frank O’Flynn (FF) told The Avondhu, “This is Mitchelstown community property and I will be calling on the council and the gardai to remove the Travellers immediately from the site. It is unacceptable that Travellers have moved on to the site at all.
“Another point is that the gate at the site was chained and locked; I would ask the gardai how was the lock was broken and I would hope they are investigating this matter.
“As for the fire, it could have been very serious, lives could have been lost if the fire had gotten out of control and spread to the gas station. The situation cannot be allowed to continue and I would call on the council to act immediately.”
Cork County Council officials told members at a Mallow Fermoy area committee meeting on Tuesday that removing Travellers was a matter for the shareholders of the site. While the park, located opposite The Firgrove Hotel, is currently in development for public use, ownership of the site belongs to a group of trustees and as such is private property.
Council Engineer Brendan O’Gorman said the appropriate course of action was for the trustees to pursue a legal process though their solicitors.
Cllr Liam O’Doherty said he had spoken to the shareholders about the issue and asked that Cork County Council do whatever it can to help.
“It is a pity that a community body has to spend money they don’t have on solicitors,” Cllr O’Doherty said. Cllr Kevin O’Keeffe slammed the unauthorised halting site as an ‘eyesore’ while Mayor of Fermoy Cllr Tadhg O’Donovan said the Mallow/Fermoy Area committee should write to the shareholders and work together towards their common goal of restoring the site as it was.
A source from the O’Connell Park trustees told The Avondhu that the Travellers in question were trespassing on private property and that the matter was in the hands of the gardai.
Friday 13th February 8:17am