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The halting site in Carrickmines at the weekend, following a fatal fire

Further to the fire at the halting site on Glenamuck Road, Carrickmines, Dublin at the weekend, which claimed the lives of five adults and five children, while two injured adults and a child remain in hospital…

Kitty Holland, in today’s Irish Times, writes:

“Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, in whose area 10 Travellers lost their lives on overcrowded halting site at the weekend, is one of 15 local authorities that drew down no funding for Traveller accommodation this year.

Some €4.3 million was provided by the Department of the Environment to the 31 local authorities for Traveller accommodation this year, down from €70 million in 2008. Even in straitened economic times, this 93 per cent collapse in funding raises questions about the commitment of central Government to Traveller accommodation.

Meanwhile, readers may recall how more than two years ago, in May, 2013, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and Gaeltacht asked the then Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan to ask why local authorities hadn’t drawn down allocated funding for Traveller housing.

At a meeting of the committee, co-ordinator of Ballyfermot Traveller action project Lorraine McMahon said:

We contend that a significant non-drawdown of funding or underspend of more than €12 million within Dublin City Council from 2007 to 2012 had an impact on the lack of progress in the delivery of new accommodation. We acknowledge that another barrier to progress was site management issues at various times. There have been some serious issues of anti-social behaviour in the past at various sites but that has not been pervasive across all sites during the life of the Traveller accommodation programme. However, the actions of a minority, which impacted on the majority of the communities, have had detrimental impacts on the community and blocked progress because the whole community has been penalised.”

At the same meeting, Catherine Joyce, who works in Fingal County Council, told the committee more than €7.5 million had been handed back by Fingal County Council, even though the local authority is home to one of the largest temporary halting sites, St Mary’s in Cappagh field.

Ms Joyce told the committee families who reside at the site have no access to electricity, proper sanitation or rubbish collection services. She also said some families have been living there for 15 years.

In addition, Chrissie O’Sullivan, from the Traveller Visibility Group Cork, asked the committee why there was a €6million underspend in the Cork area.

Analysis: Councils must do more for Travellers after fire (Kitty Holland, Irish Times)

Previously: Heard The One About Local Authorities Refusing Money?

‘At Least Eight People Have Died…’

Pic: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

17 thoughts on “Halting Funding

  1. Cartin Mollins

    Simple – if the head of the family declares he (or very unlikely she) is working, on production of a valid TC2, that person gets a shiny new fully serviced caravan and halting site with all services. Halting site is fully monitored by remote CCTV for any shenanigans. Several sites are remotely monitored in this manner already.

      1. Cartin Mollins

        Sorry Dav what victims are these you speak of? I’m amazed you can type coherently with your knees jerking all over the place

    1. Father Filth

      A lot of flip flopping by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, at one point there were plans to house families down by the sea front, beside Bulloch Harbour, Dalkey, that all went quiet, quietly..

      DL Rathdown are a funny bunch, mutating, ever changing, multi million euro bicycle (un)friendly roundabouts and roads closed off/changed to suit a councillor facing it..

  2. Dubloony

    I can’t help thinking of how fast the fire took hold. They are small units, were they all overcome with smoke fumes first?
    Smoke alarms in every caravan / unit is something that could be done immediately.

    Looking at the images, they seemed to be packed in tight. The window at the end couldn’t be used. If the doors & widows at front were blocked by fire, they had no other means of escape.

    Sympathy to all the families involved.

  3. brownbull

    have to query why local authorities allow people live in portacabins like this as they are not a temporary structure and patently do not meet the building regulations – that the local authority would fail in this regard, and fail to drawdown funding to provide a solution that would meet the regulations, is abysmal
    my sympathy to those affected by this tragedy

    1. scottser

      the council provide the bay and basic utilities. the occupants would provide their own trailer/caravan. the housing units themselves are inspected by the local authority before they’re brought on site and they have to have a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher/fire blanket or they aren’t allowed to move on to the bay.
      As regards local authorities not drawing down funding, you should go ask your councillor how they voted on budget submissions before you go finger pointing. – there is simply no political will to spend traveller allocated funding.

  4. Cartin Mollins

    Everyone seems to agree that travellers should be housed somewhere. As long as that somewhere is not near them. Lefty do-gooders will say things like “I wouldn’t mind travellers living near me”, but the history of planning decisions, and the depressing effect on house prices near halting sites back up the fact that this is merely an empty sentiment.

    Traveller halting sites in the majority of cases bring trouble, in the form of noise, litter and pollution. Until we find a way to minimise these sources of trouble, any local authority is going to have a very difficult time housing them. Such is the reason they are housed in temporary accommodation like that deathtrap portakabin in Carrickmines

    1. sǝɯǝɯ ʇɐ pɐq

      I live beside Travellers, and there’s a halting site less than a minute’s walk from my door.
      They’re great craic once they get to know you.*

      *As opposed to ‘once you get to know them’.

  5. David j

    So in 2008 there was €70 million spent on Traveller housing – there are roughly 30,000 Travellers in Ireland so thats €2333 per person in one year spent on housing. And consider that there would be multiple people per house then where are these houses?! They must all be living in mansions somewhere. Disgraceful

  6. Woof

    The same Portacabins are used in many schools.

    People should have solid houses and apartments to live in.

    And this family were liked by their neighbours; their kids went to local schools, played rugby for local schools. Whose knees are jerking, eh?

  7. eric cartman

    maybe there would be proper accommodation for these travellers if their friends and relatives stopped burning out all the other houses that were built for them. Labre park would have at least 10 more units to house families if it weren’t for other ‘mysterious’ fires.

    1. Dog Gone. IT

      what’s your points? aren’t there enough layabouts living in publicly owned mansions already?

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