Thursday 29 June 2017

We'll continue house picket to prevent Traveller family moving in, say residents

Protesters outside the house near the Tipperary village of Ballin which North Tipperary County Council purchased for €465,000 to
accommodate a Traveller family
Protesters outside the house near the Tipperary village of Ballin which North Tipperary County Council purchased for €465,000 to accommodate a Traveller family

Barry Duggan

A GROUP of residents has vowed to continue a picket outside a luxurious home in one of the country's most sought-after locations. It has been purchased for almost €500,000 by a local authority for a Traveller family.

A stand-off continued last night outside the detached four-bedroom dormer house on the outskirts of Ballina, Co Tipperary.

More than 50 residents from the picturesque north Tipperary town guarded the entrance to the property yesterday amid fears that the county council would attempt to move the Travellers into the home.

Residents say their quarrel is not with the Travellers who have lived in the town for almost a decade, but with North Tipperary County Council and the manner in which they have approached this issue.

Following a meeting between local councillors and senior council personnel yesterday, the Ballina residents were informed that North Tipperary County Manager, Terry O'Niadh, would make a statement on the issue at the end of the week.

Chairman of Cullina Residents Association, Paddy Collins, said they were left with no option but to continue to mount a 24-hour vigil outside the house.

"The county council are being extremely negligent about this whole matter. We have to maintain the vigil as we have no other road to go down," he said.

The council paid €465,000 for the house in the Cullina estate to accommodate 10 members of a Traveller family who have lived in Ballina for almost a decade. The family lives in caravans on the roadside. "Our fight is not with the Travellers. They have lived here throughout this time and there have been no problems. In fact, they are being treated very poorly throughout all this and have received no communication from the council," Mr Collins said.

A spokesperson for the local authority said it was not policy to comment on individual cases. The council had successfully accommodated 130 Traveller families in recent years.

The Traveller family has also refused to comment.

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