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Carrickmines fire: Residents tell council of their fears over halting site as 'anger festers'

Residents in a Dublin residential area said on Thursday night that they remained opposed to the opening of a temporary halting site on their road for the survivors of the Carrickmines fire tragedy.

Residents of Rockville Drive told council officials yesterday they were fearful of the effects of a Travellers' halting site in their quiet cul-de-sac.

A residents' spokeswoman who attended the two-hour meeting with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown officials said they expressed several concerns about future activities generated by the halting site.

The spokeswoman for the Kilternan Glenamuck Residents' Association claimed the nearby site on Glenamuck Road, where 10 people were killed in a blaze early on Saturday, was "believed to be temporary" when it opened eight years ago.

The residents had not been given a closure date for the proposed site, she told the Irish Independent.

Southside Travellers' Action Committee director Geraldine Dunne said the funerals of the victims were coming soon and the grieving family members needed to be rehomed immediately.

"There is anger festering in the community and outrage in society at the current situation. It needs to be resolved peacefully. People need to put aside their own issues and understand the families need support and sympathy," she said.

Later, a spokeswoman for the Traveller group refused to comment on claims that residents in the area made about matters of anti-social behaviour.

Meanwhile, a group of around a dozen people carrying placards remained at the entrance of the small field in the cul-de-sac, voicing support for the council proposal to build a halting site beside local houses.

The placard carriers said they did not live in Rockville but they had come from "within the borough" to support the Traveller families. "The Connors family have nowhere to go. Their children go to local schools and they have a right to a home locally," said Susan (47), one of the visiting protesters.

She said there was support from within the local area for the halting site proposal.

The family should be given a chance to have a new home.

But local residents said opposition was widespread locally to the new halting site.

A 42-year-old father said people had hoped the council-owned field would be a playground for children.

Another man said the narrow residential road was not suitable for caravans and vans to be using it regularly.

A council statement said constructive engagement with residents was continuing.

"All of us involved recognise the situation which exists and are working to both address the issues of concern, while recognising that there is a critical need to provide accommodation and a temporary home for the survivors of last week's tragedy," said a council spokesman.

"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 the spokesman.

Irish Independent

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