Council report reveals nine alternative places to live rejected by Traveller family

A new report reveals that nine alternative locations to live have been offered to a traveller family living on Connaughton road in Sligo town but were rejected.

The report from the County Council was presented to members yesterday leading to calls to end the 30-year-old issue of the family living in caravans in this public carpark.

The report was given to Sligo County Councillors at their meeting yesterday.

Sinn Fein’s Chris MacManus had asked for details of all efforts since 2000 to provide alternative accommodation to the families living in the Connaughton Road Car Park.

Acting Director of Services Bartley Gavin outlined various proposals he said were offered to house the family.

They included nine potential locations, all of which were rejected.

In February 2011, frustrated at the lack of progress, the council proposed a mediator become involved.

This ended after 22 months, with the mediator concluding there was ‘no prospect of reaching agreement.’

Mr Gavin said the council considered the purchase of individual houses, mostly north of Sligo, but it had not been possible to buy a property acceptable to the family and the council.

Fianna Fail Councillor Tom MacSharry said having a halting site in the middle of Sligo was unacceptable and unsustainable.

Meanwhile, Cllr Keaney said any fair person would have to say it was time to call an end to this.

He said what was going on for a number of years was ‘a bloody disgrace’ and the council could not be held hostage by one family.

Cllr MacManus, who asked for the report, gave his reaction afterwards to Ocean FM News.