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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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Travellers protest in Mayo after Syrian refugee family accommodated in local authority house

Up to eight members of the Traveller community have been protesting outside Mayo County Council this afternoon.

castle County Hall, Castlebar Source: Google Maps

A NUMBER OF members of the travelling community are staging a protest outside County Hall in Castlebar, Co Mayo, in relation to a family of Syrian refugees being accommodated in local authority housing in the town.

It’s understood that the Syrian family in question attempted to move into a vacant local authority house in the town yesterday and were met with a protest outside that house.

The family was subsequently moved by county council officials to another property in the area.

A number of local sources in the town say that a Traveller family living next door to the house in question were “not happy” about the Syrian family being housed there and protested outside the house as a result.

When the Syrian family was moved they continued their protest outside Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s constituency office, before staging a protest outside county buildings today.

About eight people from the family are protesting.

It’s believed that members of the Traveller family have been on a waiting list for local authority housing for “some time”.

“They are protesting because a vacant house, which has been vacant for some time, is being occupied by a Syrian family when some of their own family members have been on the list for ages, years, and haven’t been housed,” said local councillor Michael Kilcoyne.

Kilcoyne added that “these people coming from Syria, they deserve to be looked after, but it’s not clear even what funding has been allocated by the Department towards doing that”.

But this house has apparently been vacant for some time, and local authority houses shouldn’t be vacant for long periods of time.

TheJournal.ie has contacted Mayo County Council and the Mayo Traveller Support Group for comment.

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