Sunday 11 December 2016

Talks still ongoing with Carrickmines residents over emergency halting site

Published 15/10/2015 | 02:30

5Candellight vigil for the ten people who lost their lives Glenamuck halting site fire in Carrickmines,Dublin this evening….Pic Stephen Collins/Collins PhotosPic Stephen Collins/Collins PhotosPic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
5Candellight vigil for the ten people who lost their lives Glenamuck halting site fire in Carrickmines,Dublin this evening….Pic Stephen Collins/Collins PhotosPic Stephen Collins/Collins PhotosPic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Mourners light candles in memory of the ‘Carrickmines 10’ who died in the tragedy last weekend
Mourners light candles in memory of the ‘Carrickmines 10’ who died in the tragedy last weekend

Talks are still ongoing between the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and local residents over plans to build a temporary halting site for families left homeless after the tragic Carrcikmines fire.

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The latest meeting took place this morning in the Council’s offices in Dún Laoghaire.

In a statement,  Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said the meeting was the "third engagement with the residents. On Tuesday each house was visited with the letter setting out the position and yesterday there was a meeting with residents."

A tense stand-off has been in place in the Rockville Estate in Carrickmines, Dublin, since Tuesday.

A tense stand-off has been in place in the Rockville Estate in Carrickmines, Dublin, since Tuesday.

Locals learnt that Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council was about to begin works on the site of a green space in their cul-de-sac.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly said he was "disappointed" about the protests, adding "it says an awful lot about Irish society, and in a very disturbing way".

Martin Collins, co-director of the Pavee Point group representing Travellers, said he understood the local frustrations, but urged the residents to "search deep inside their conscience" and ask if what they were doing was right.

"I would say they are only adding to the pain and suffering that these families are already enduring," he added.

The situation became more fraught yesterday evening when a group of people, in support of the Traveller family left bereaved by the fire tragedy, started a counter-protest in the estate.

Gardaí remained in Rockville overnight as the stand-off and protests continued.

A group of residents who met with council officials yesterday were due to meet with them again this morning after consulting with the wider community on the proposals.

The council issued a statement after the first meeting, stressing that the halting site would be taken down after six months when a more permanent site was constructed.

But the statement did not specify where the preferred location for the permanent halting site would be.

Informed sources say the council is hoping for agreement from the Rockville residents, but that the local authority could go the High Court to have the blockade removed if the stalemate cannot be sorted out by agreement.

Labour councillor for the Glencullen-Sandyford Ward, Lettie McCarthy, said she hoped the stand-off could be resolved.

"There are a lot of comments going around that are neither fair nor true on both sides, so I would appeal to people of the wider area to show a bit of common sense and calm," she said.

"We don't want anyone to feel they are being ostracised and I think there is a danger of that happening," she explained.

"We need to make sure the residents are happy with the outcome and that the family are happy with the accommodation they will have for the next couple of months.

"We need to stop trying to put one group against the other."

Cllr McCarthy said the relationship between the residents of Rockville and the council had broken down a long time ago, and that the council doesn't have the trust of the residents.

"That is very sad, but that is the reality," she said.

"This has accumulated over a number of years - it has not just happened last night or today.

"When the residents here woke up on Saturday morning to the news (of the fire) they grieved with that family.

"Don't try and say they are anti-Traveller, as that is not productive," Cllr McCarthy added.

Ten people perished in the blaze last Saturday, including five children, as well as an unborn child.

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