Residents of Rockville Drive release statement

Residents of Rockville Drive release statement

The Southside Traveller Action Group says it hopes an agreement can be reached "very soon" over the re-settlement of 15 people who survived the Carrickmines fire.

Residents of Rockville Drive, who met with council officials earlier, claim the area is unsuitable for a temporary halting site, saying the area is unsuitable.

The residents say they have been subjected to irrational and unfair criticism for opposing the presence of a halting site on their street.

The funerals of the ten victims of the tragedy, which include four children, a baby and a pregnant woman, have been delayed due to difficulty identifying the bodies.

Their families may have to wait up to a week to bury their loved ones.

Residents have released the following statement:

At the outset we wish to place on the record our sincere sympathy for the relatives and friends of the deceased in this awful tragedy. Like everyone in Ireland we are shocked by these events and our hearts go out to the families as they face the funerals of their loved ones.

The Council created the temporary halting site where the fire occurred about 8 years ago. The site was too small, cramped and totally inadequate for travelling families.

Despite the fact that the temporary site was never fit for purpose, the Council did not relocate the families or take steps to provide proper accommodation during those 8 years. Following the recent tragedy, they now seek to repeat the exercise by creating more temporary traveller accommodation at a site at Rockville Drive.

As a result, we find ourselves thrust into the centre of a national problem not of our making, subjected to irrational and unfair criticism with little regard for the impact this dreadful situation is having on each of our families on a human level.

Whilst we cannot speak for the travelling community we stand shoulder to shoulder with them in their criticism of the failure of this Council and other State agencies to provide proper accommodation which is suitable for their needs and their way of life.

In an attempt to resolve the current impasse, we have made various suggestions and we have put certain proposals to the Council. We will be continuing this dialogue with the Council officers and we have agreed to revert to them in the short term.

Despite almost eliminating all funding for traveller accommodation since 2008, the Government has at last, properly directed that there shall be a nationwide audit of fire safety standards at all traveller accommodation sites. We support this initiative but the Government and the Council must do much more.

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