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Friday 20 April 2018

€150,000 security cost for empty Traveller homes

Gordon Deegan

A LOCAL authority is spending €3,000 a week on security costs for a Traveller accommodation site with three houses nobody wants to live in.

In the past year, Clare Co Council has spent over €150,000 on providing round-the-clock security at the Beechpark site on the outskirts of Ennis.

The council confirmed yesterday that no one has lived in the houses since April 2010 although two of the halting site bays are occupied.

A spokeswoman said yesterday that the council "has made offers of the vacancies but (they) remain vacant". The six-unit site was built at a cost of €2m to the taxpayer seven years ago but families abandoned their homes there after one of the houses was gutted in a fire in February last year.

The council is to spend €280,000 on closed circuit television (CCTV) on three Traveller sites in Clare, including Beechpark.

The spokeswoman said when the system was installed at Beechpark in September, the security would be withdrawn.

Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee chair Brian Meaney yesterday said the spend "cannot continue".

Irish Independent

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