Monday 17 June 2019

A 'just resolution' sought

McGinley family are willing to meet with council for talks

Paul Deering

Sligo Traveller Support Group has clashed once more with the County Council over its handling of the Connaughton Road car park issue.

A statement from the group comes int he wake of the latest action by the council in removing scrap cars and other material from the car park which has been the home to the extended McGinley family for nearly 40 years.

Manager of the Sligo Traveller Support Group, Bernadette Maughan, claims in a statement that council staff threatened to lift caravans using cranes if residents did not move them themselves during the operation two weeks ago which was overseen by a large Garda presence.

"The actions by the Council have resulted in forcing families to move the caravans in closer proximity to one another.

"This was a direct result of the County Council installing concrete boulders and steel fencing in the centre of the site.

"The degree of fire safety has significantly deteriorated as a result.

"Regretfully, this is not the first occasion intimidation and violence has been used towards residents of Connaughton road.

"Last year, one adult and two minors from the site were hospitalised as a result of injuries sustained by personnel sent by the council.

"The workers in question were tasked with removing the decking put in place to allow a resident suffering from severe arthritis to access his caravan safely.

"In the past, the County Council made several offers of accommodation to residents.

"However, as neither the county councillors or local media were informed, these offers once accepted by the travellers were then withdrawn within 48-72 hours by the council.

"To date, all offers of accommodation accepted by residents were subsequently withdrawn by the Council.

"The fourteen adults and sixteen children residing on site feel severe and substantial negative efforts have been made by the Council to push families out of Connaughton road.

"Thus far, this pressure has caused two families to move to an alternative site on Dublin road on promise of improvements which have yet to be delivered upon.

"If the Councils desire is to resolve this issue through the provision of high standard accommodation is genuine, the residents are prepared to meet with local councillors and Council officials.

"The families in Connaughton road have been seeking a solution for the past thirty five years. An honest and just resolution must be found for these families. They deserve no less," said Ms Maughan.

Sligo Champion