Residents opposed to an emergency halting site at the end of their estate for survivors of a blaze that killed 10 people met again yesterday with council chiefs but failed to reach a resolution.
It was Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s third engagement with residents from Rockville Drive in Dublin who remain opposed to the site and have blocked entry to the land.
The council want sto prepare a one-acre field at the end of a cul-de-sac to accommodate four mobile homes, a shower, and a toilet block.
The council said it had identified a separate site at a different location to house the families on a permanent basis but preparations would take around eight months.
Council officials gave a commitment yesterday the emergency site in Rockville would be dismantled within six months once work on the permanent site was completed.
It is likely, however, that the emergency site will be in place until the end of next year.
Even though both sides involved in the talks have, as yet, failed to reach an agreement, a spokesperson for the council described yesterday’s meeting as “constructive”.
All acknowledged the situation that existed and were working to address the issues of concern while recognising the critical need to provide a temporary home for the survivors of last week’s tragedy.
“The council understands the concerns of the local residents and will introduce whatever measures are under our control to address these issues directly and promptly,” said a spokesperson.
“Discussions and contacts regarding the issues are continuing.”
The Irish Traveller Movement said the Traveller families did not regard the contentious site as the ideal solution but were anxious to remain together.
She said the families had been living together at the site in Glenamuck, destroyed by fire last Saturday, for eight years and one of the children went to school in the area.
A small number of protesters in favour of opening the emergency site claimed there was no basis for the residents’ fears.
However, some of the residents are angry they have been labelled anti-Traveller. They say their concerns about antisocial behaviour and the suitability of the site are well founded.
The protesters said they were not members of the Traveller community but they lived in the area and knew some of the Travellers who died.
“I am the mother of a child who cries himself to sleep every night now because his friend died in a fire,” said one of the protesters, who did not want to be identified.
Another protester, a man, said that he hoped the residents who were opposed to the emergency site would open their hearts and show compassion.
Residents opposed to the halting site said they felt sorry for the survivors and a number of them had attended the vigil outside the burnt-out site on Wednesday night.
“We feel we have been misrepresented. This is a cul-de-sac where nice people live and everyone of us is actually sick to their stomachs over this.”
Funerals of those killed in the fire are to be held over the next week. A four-year-old boy remains in hospital. He has made some progress and his condition has been described as stable.
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