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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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Carrickmines fire victims remembered at candelit vigil

The event came after a temporary site at Rockville Drive was blockaded yesterday.

Children lay candles near the site on Glenamuck Road
Children lay candles near the site on Glenamuck Road
Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated at 8:45pm

HUNDREDS TURNED OUT for a candelit vigil this evening at the scene of last weekend’s fatal fire in Carrickmines.

Candles were placed alongside floral tributes at the entrance to the halting site where 10 people died on Saturday.

The event followed marathon discussions this morning between council officials and residents protesting a temporary halting site for the survivors of the fire.

Talks are due to resume tomorrow morning after today’s negotiations failed to reach a solution.

This morning’s meeting between officials from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and residents living near the site earmarked for emergency accommodation ended at midday, after almost three hours of discussions, with no agreement.

The Council put out a holding statement saying that “consultation and dialogue” were ongoing.

Later, after the small number of residents returned to their cul-de-sac for a wider discussion, it was decided that talks would continue tomorrow at 9am.

The local authority has the option of taking the matter to the courts, should the residents insist they won’t allow preparatory work at the site to accommodate the families.

The residents are unsatisfied with what they see as a lack of consultation from the Council, and said yesterday they had only received a circular informing them that work was to begin at the site shortly before a digger arrived.

Cars were then placed across the road, blocking equipment from making progress.

The digger was removed at lunchtime this afternoon, in the wake of the initial meeting between residents and the Council.

Speaking this afternoon, one resident spoke of anti-social incidents and robberies in the area in recent months and said the Council hadn’t listened to them when they complained.

“You can’t tar everybody with the one brush,” another woman said, adding that residents in the area needed to be protected from anti-social behaviour.

However, a third householder, who spoke to Classic Hits 4FM, said she had no problem with Traveller families moving into the area. She said she was “keeping out of” the discussion process with the Council.

Temporary solution

The site off Glenamuck Road South in Carrickmines was chosen to accommodate the 15 adults and children until a permanent site at nearby Glendruid (as mentioned by the Taoiseach today in the Dáil) is ready.

It’s proposed four mobile homes be placed there.

Ahead of today’s talks, it was stated that the permanent location wouldn’t be ready for eight months.

However in its updated statement this afternoon the Council said that it had made a commitment to residents that the emergency site would be decommissioned within six months “on completion of the works at the new permanent designated site”.

The Traveller families hoping to move into the Rockville site lived at the location of the fire that killed ten people (five adults and five children) at prefabricated homes in the early hours of Saturday morning just a few hundred metres away.

‘Normal courtesy’

There has been much political comment made regarding the impasse at Carrickmines, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking on the issue at Leader’s Questions in Dáil Éireann this afternoon.

Aside from confirming that the permanent site earmarked for the Glenamuck residents, at Glendruid, won’t be ready for a further 6 months, the Taoiseach bemoaned the lack of notice given to the blockading residents at Carrickmines by the local council regarding their plans.

kenny Source: Oireachtas.tv

“The vast majority of communities in this country are prepared to work with the local authorities and different agencies in their own interests,” he said in response to questioning from Sinn Féin’s Padraig Mac Lochlainn.

This is a very sensitive issue in that the funerals involved have not even taken place yet.
Although, to balance that, there has to be an explanation to any community of what a local authority intends to do as an emergency measure.
I think that is only the normal courtesy that should apply in any circumstance and I hope that matter can be dealt with today in order to provide temporary accommodation for those remaining families at the Glenamuck temporary site.

 

Tweet by @Daragh Brophy Source: Daragh Brophy/Twitter

 

Speaking yesterday, environment minister Alan Kelly described the blockade on Rockville Drive as “shameful and disturbing”.

At the street today, local Labour councillor Lettie McCarthy, said trust between the Council and residents had broken down some time ago.

She said she was appealing for “calmness and common-sense” adding that it was essential an agreement be reached that satisfied both sides.

“The Council don’t have the trust of the residents. And that’s very sad but when you no longer trust somebody, no matter what they say you don’t believe them.

“That’s the situation we’re at. This has accumulated over a number of years. This is not something that just happened.”

(More from Councillor McCarthy in the video below.)

Source: Daragh Brophy/YouTube

‘Quiet location’

Earlier, one Rockville resident told Newstalk.com that moving the families into the temporary site would change the atmosphere in the “quiet location”:

Well, my husband goes for a drink and he walks up the road, and he can hear them every time he goes for a drink and he can hear them shouting and roaring and music, and we do not want shouting and roaring and music in this quiet location. It’s very quiet around here, it’s like a dream around here. And now I just feel our dream is gone because of that.

“It’s not those people up the road, I feel sorry for them, our heart goes out to them. Just the council, they give you a letter, that they’re coming in an hour,” the resident added.

Director of the Southside Traveller Action Group, Geraldine Dunne told TheJournal.ie that they wanted the situation resolved quickly as many local residents have been “so supportive to those affected”.

“I would hope that this situation can be resolved in the best interest of the families in this crisis situation so that they can start to piece their lives back together,” she said.

With reporting from Rónán Duffy and Cianan Brennan

Read: Temporary home for Carrickmines survivors “blockaded” by local residents >

Read: Relatives of Carrickmines fire victims turned away from Dublin bar >

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