Council seeks order requiring Traveller family to leave development site

Court hears of plan to build 40 social housing units on Ennis site where family reside

The site was previously used as Traveller accommodation but had been vacant in recent years following a suspected arson attack

The site was previously used as Traveller accommodation but had been vacant in recent years following a suspected arson attack

 

A local authority wants a Traveller family removed from a site, earmarked for new social housing, which it claims the family has entered illegally. The family has refused the offer of a house.

Clare County Council is seeking injunctions aimed at compelling Bernard and Helen McDonagh leave a site at Ashline, Kilrush Road, in Ennis on which it claims they have been residing since November 24th.

The site was previously used as Traveller accommodation but had been vacant in recent years following a suspected arson attack. It had contained several houses, some of which had been badly damaged by fire.

The council says there are plans to build 40 social housing units on the site and that it is a health and safety hazard for the McDonagh family.

At the High Court on Friday, Ms Justice Caroline Costello granted the council permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on the family and returned the matter to next week.

Seeking the order, Patrica Hill BL, for the Council, said the site had not been used following the fires and was sealed off with concrete bollards were erected around it.

At around 3am on November 24th, heavy machinery and a forklift were used to remove the barriers and there are now two caravans and horses on the site, counsel said.

The council has “serious health and safety concerns” about the site where construction work on 40 social housing units is due to start next spring, counsel added.

The council had engaged in talks with the McDonaghs in an effort to resolve the problem and made offers of alternative accommodation to them, including an offer of a private rented four-bedroom house in Ennis.

The offers had been refused, leaving the local authority no option other than to bring court proceedings, Ms Hill said.