Tag Archives: Traveller accommodation

Letter written by Fine Gael councillor Emer Higgins to residents on Friday, April 4, 2014; front page article about the letter in the Lucan Gazette; Ms Higgins with fellow Fine Gael politicians Kenneth Egan, left, and Frances Fitzgerald, right

On April 4, 2014, Fine Gael councillor Emer Higgins wrote to residents to say she was “delighted” to announce that ten purpose built houses in Ballymakelly were not going to be bought by the council for a Traveller Accommodation Scheme.

It’s since resurfaced as she prepares for the by-election in Dublin Mid-West on November 29.

Last night.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, Ms Higgins said:

“Straight up, this was about the council moving forward with new plans in an estate which hadn’t even met the conditions of the first scheme.

“In 2014, when the country was littered with unfinished ghost estates and negative equity, distressed mortgages and repossessions were a big fear in my area.

“My language was insensitive and did upset people and I apologised for that at the time.”

By-election candidate apologises for comments on Traveller housing scheme being scrapped in her area (Irish Examiner)

Previously: Emer’s Delight

I’ve Been Smeared

Pic: Lucan Life

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin tweetz:

Just 18% of 2019 Traveller accommodation budget spent to date

19 Councils have spent nothing to date

5 didnt request an allocation for 2019

And we wonder why families are on illegal sites or tragedies like Carrickmines happen???

Previously: ‘So A Tragedy Like This Never Occurs Again’


Flowers outside the unofficial halting site in Glenamuck Road in Carrickmines, Dublin,  where a fire killed 10 members of the same Traveller family, one of whom was pregnant

Thomas Erbsloh sent the following letter to The Irish Times – for the letters page – before the weekend of October 8/9 – ahead of the anniversary of the Carrickmines fire on October 10.

It has yet to be published.

Thomas wrote:

This time last year, the issue of Traveller accommodation briefly hit the media headlines, following the tragic fire in Carrickmines, killing ten members of the Traveller community. While there was an outpouring of sympathy across the country in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, what has happened since, in terms of providing safe Traveller accommodation to ensure such a tragedy will never happen again?

Since the late 1990s, each local authority has its own, statutory Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee (LTACC), which includes Traveller representatives. Following Carrickmines, the Department directed an almost immediate fire and safety review of Traveller accommodation.

Local authorities provided reports to the Department over the next couple of months, and subsequently most local authorities set up steering committees to address issues identified, with the LTACC becoming the steering group for this in many cases.

So far, so good?

In many cases, the fire and safety reports are being withheld from the Traveller representatives on the LTACC – so one is to be a member of this important steering group, without having access to the one crucial report that informs the work of this steering committee. Hmmm?

Instead one has to hope and rely that [Irish Times journalist] Kitty Holland will access the relevant information under FOI, and one might find out this important information by reading The Irish Times. While this is hardly the core issue in the delivery of safe accommodation, it exposes, once more, the tokenism in the framework structures.

The Traveller Accommodation Strategy, in place since the late-1990s, has failed in delivering Traveller accommodation. It has failed because it is strong on intent, but poor on implementation, and completely lacking any system of sanctions.

If you are in the way of the expansion of Apple Computers in Cork, you will be re-accommodated in brand new accommodation (funded out of a miraculous fund, outside of the national budget for Traveller accommodation, at a cost of € 5million, according to Cork City Council), but if you survived the tragedy in Carrickmines … well, that`s an entirely different story.

Ireland, 2016 – one year from the Carrickmines tragedy; their friends and relatives will mourn the ten dead. Not only were their deaths avoidable, their deaths were also in vain : nothing has changed and the merry system of windowdressing continues. Ireland, 2016 – one hundred years from cherishing the children of the nation equally.

Thomas Erbsloh


Previously: ‘They Couldn’t Get To The Water’

Mark Stedman/Rollingnews


The halting site in Carrickmines at the weekend, following a fatal fire which claimed ten lives

Kitty Holland (“Councils must do more for Travellers after fire”, Analysis, October 12th) lists the failure of local authorities across the State to make progress in relation to the provision of decent accommodation for Travellers.

I worked for two years as manager of the Southside Travellers Action Group and the problems listed by your reporter correspond almost exactly with those we faced 15 years ago. There is one key difference, however. At that time, no funds of any substance were provided by central government to local authorities for Traveller accommodation.

Successful lobbying by Traveller organisations, such as the Irish Traveller Movement and Pavee Point, resulted in a change in the funding approach by central government around 2006. Money was made available to local authorities.

Since then, shamefully, over €50 million allocated by the Department of the Environment for Traveller Accommodation remains unspent. €50 million!

The need for decent accommodation is obvious and the pictures and stories emerging from the tragedy in Carrickmines are clear proof of the need for radical action.
Local authorities that fail to spend their allocated budgets in this regard should face penalties and those councillors who continue to oppose Traveller accommodation plans should be shown the door at the next local elections.

Are we going to allow another generation of Traveller children to grow up in these conditions or are we going to attempt to create a fairer society for all of our children?

Aodh O’Connor
Dublin 12.

Meanwhile, on Morning Ireland this morning, Tánaiste Joan Burton said:

Can I appeal to all members of local authorities right around the country to please use the funds which have been made available by central government to local authorities for Traveller accommodation. Some local authorities, including the local authority where this dreadful tragic fire [in Carrickmines] took place, those funds have actually not been used. If the funds are use, I can say there will be an undertaking to provide additional funds.”

Local authorities and Travellers (Irish Times)

Previously: Halting Funding

Heard The One About Local Authorities Refusing Money?



“Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council issued a letter to residents at around 11am this morning informing them that work was to begin on a plot of land in the Rockville Drive estate immediately to accommodate the survivors of Saturday’s fire which claimed 10 lives.”

“The letter from the council states that the accommodation is only on a temporary basis, until the construction and refurbishment of a permanent site is completed, which is due to take eight months.”

“However residents of the estate this morning blocked the entrance to the plot of land, preventing a JCB from beginning the proposed construction work. A peaceful stand-off ensued with residents refusing to move their vehicles which were obstructing the entrance to [a] green field.”

Residents protest against construction of new ‘temporary’ halting site for survivors of Carrickmines blaze (Irish Independent)

Pic: RTÉ


The Southside Travellers Group released the following statement this evening:


Thanks Ronan Burtenshaw