Traveller family distraught over council’s destruction of home
2018-07-01 13:51:52 -
Photo source: Travellers' Voice 

By Finn Hoogensen

Dublin City Council has been accused of illegally authorising the demolition of a Traveller family’s mobile home in west Dublin. 

Michael and Ann Connors, along with their children, witnessed their home being torn down by contractors on 14 June at Labre Park, a Traveller accommodation site in Ballyfermot.

The Connors family had been meeting with Lorraine McMahon, a co-ordinator with the Ballyfermot Travellers Action Project, to discuss what they would do with their home in Labre Park when they received a call that the demolition was under way.

The Connors, a family of seven, moved out of Labre Park in January this year and have been living in emergency accommodation. 

McMahon, who has been acting as a mediator between the Connors and the Dublin City Council, said she was notified of the council’s demand for the family to move the mobile home from Labre Park.

“The local authority had no permission [from the Connors] to touch their home,” said McMahon, who added that she had appealed to the council for a grace period for the Connors to relocate the trailer.

“In my opinion, what happened in Labre Park is potentially illegal, is potentially criminal, is absolutely an outrageous breach of the human rights of that family, and answers must be given as to how that came about.”

However, a Dublin City Council spokesperson said the Connors were illegal occupants on the site in Labre Park, and the family’s permission was not required for the removal of their home. 

The spokesperson also claimed that the mobile unit had a defective base which posed a health and safety risk to other occupants in Labre Park.

“Dublin City Council gave the family ample opportunity to remove their trailer and all personal belongs and they refused to do so,” said the spokesperson, who added that the Connors’ personal items within were not destroyed but removed and placed in storage.
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