Pavee Point condemns evictions of 17 families from Traveller halting site –

Pavee Point calls on Environment Minister, Alan Kelly TD, to intervene as a matter of urgency to compel Louth County Council to provide alternative accommodation for 17 Traveller families evicted from a halting site in Dundalk today (15th January 2016)

The families were evicted from a Traveller local authority halting site that had been decommissioned by Louth County Council.

Pavee Point condemns these evictions as unnecessary and unwarranted. “This is one of coldest nights of the year and these people have no where to go,” said Martin Collins, Co Director of Pavee Point. “It is clear that Louth County Council has absolutely no concern for the health and safety of these families”

“Louth County Council has totally failed in its duty here. It has a policy of not providing Traveller Specific accommodation such as halting sites or group housing schemes,” said Martin Collins, “They are trying to force Travellers into social or private housing and this is in total breach of the 1998 Traveller Accommodation Act.”

“There is a demand for Traveller specific accommodation in Dundalk and these families are the living proof.

“These families have children at school in the town. Think how these children will be affected by this – in the same week that Ireland defended its record on children’s rights at the United Nations!”

Pavee Point urges the Environment Minister to intervene to find a solution and make good undertakings that there would be no mass evictions of Traveller families as a result of fire safety audits on halting sites in the wake of the Carrickmines fire tragedy.

These evictions are confirming fears that Pavee Point had that local authorities would use the fire audits in a cynical way to evict Travellers.  It is important at this stage that Travellers engaging with the Environment Dept in its safety audit can have trust in this process.

Minister Kelly put a Community Initiative in place at his Department to deal with any issues around fire safety on Traveller halting sites and it is through this Initiative that any fire safety issues on sites should be dealt with.