Saturday 21 January 2017

Failure to house relatives of Traveller fire victims is a stain on Irish society

Published 20/10/2015 | 02:30

People pay their respects at Glenamuck Road South in Carrickmines, Co Dublin, in the aftermath of the tragic fire that claimed the lives of 10 members of the Travelling community. Photo Collins
People pay their respects at Glenamuck Road South in Carrickmines, Co Dublin, in the aftermath of the tragic fire that claimed the lives of 10 members of the Travelling community. Photo Collins

As the funerals for the 10 people killed in last week's devastating Carrickmines fire begin today, it is an indictment of our society that their surviving family members have yet to be rehoused.

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It's hard to know why Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has indulged the protesting residents of Rockville Drive for more than a week, meekly agreeing to protracted negotiations with them, while those who endured the trauma of seeing their family members burn to death remain homeless.

The halting site at Carrickmines is just 500m away from the estate, so it's not as if there is no history of Traveller accommodation in the area. Meanwhile, Section 24 of the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act permits the county manager to deal immediately with an emergency situation without consulting councillors or local residents.

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