Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has called on other constituency TDs and Seanadóiri in Louth to “lobby the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly to urgently intervene in the ongoing eviction crisis created by the decision of Louth County Council last week to evict 22 families from the Woodland Park halting site.
I am also concerned that 15 of the 22 families who were evicted from the Woodland Park site are now being threatened with eviction from a carpark beside the KFC.”
Teachta Adams said:
“Louth County Council has a legal obligation to accommodate homeless families. There is an unprecedented housing crisis in Louth. Five thousand people on the waiting list. It is bizarre that the council action has made even more citizens homeless.
No social or affordable housing was built by the Council in 2015. The government did not give any funds but there is available funding for Traveller accommodation.
The solution to this problem is to draw down this funding to refurbish Woodland Park site and other sites if necessary.
The other TDs and Senators have been silent on this issue. I am appealing to them to call for Minister Alan Kelly to intervene urgently.
There is also a whispering campaign against the Travellers and Sinn Féin and me in particular. I am told this is coming from Labour and Fine Gael though I have no proof of this. They are saying that Travellers are trying to jump the housing queue and that I support this.
I am advocating and my offices in Dundalk and Drogheda and local Sinn Fein councillors are advocating every day for homeless people.
The Travellers don’t want rented accommodation. They are not looking to jump any waiting list. They are no threat to other homeless people. The Travellers want the halting site developed and in time they want accommodation in keeping with their culture. This will not cost the rate payers of Louth.”