Monday 26 September 2016

Carrickmines tragedy: Temporary site for survivors blocked by residents

Robin Schiller

Published 14/10/2015 | 02:30

Residents objecting to the construction of a temporary halting site beside Rockville Drive where the Glenamuck Road blaze survivors are due to be housed. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Residents objecting to the construction of a temporary halting site beside Rockville Drive where the Glenamuck Road blaze survivors are due to be housed. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Floral tributes at the scene of the tragedy

A protest which stopped work on a temporary home for the survivors of the Carrickmines fire tragedy has been branded "disturbing and shameful".

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Environment Minister Alan Kelly said he was "incredibly disappointed and disheartened" by the protest in which council workers were stopped from getting access to a site in south County Dublin.

"To be frank, I would like the people behaving that way to reflect on that. The nation is heartbroken about what happened last weekend," he said. Mr Kelly added that the blockade, "given what that family has gone through, is very disturbing and shameful".

Homeless

People at a Dublin housing estate yesterday delayed the construction of a temporary halting site earmarked to house 15 adults and children left homeless as a result of the fire last Saturday.

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

The letter from the council stated that the accommodation of four mobile homes is only on a temporary basis, until a permanent site is completed in about eight months time.

However, the entrance to the plot of land was blocked yesterday morning, preventing a JCB from starting the planned construction work.

A peaceful stand-off ensued with people refusing to move their vehicles which were obstructing the entrance to vacant site.

One local resident, who did not wish to be named, stated that she did not want the families to be relocated to the estate and admitted that the residents may be "vilified" over their objections.

"It's a Catch-22 situation. We don't want them here, but by expressing our view we are going to be vilified by everyone.

"What happened is a tragedy but there are better places to relocate the families," the resident said.

The Southside Traveller Action Group issued a statement saying they hoped the situation could "be resolved in the best interest of the families".

"We want to thank the county council and other agencies and the many local residents who have been so supportive to those affected in these difficult few days," said the group's director, Geraldine Dunne.

"They need to start to piece their lives back together."

Irish Independent

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