DLR councillors vote to remove Mt Anville site in Traveller plan

by Gary Ibbotson
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The Traveller Accommodation Programme 2019-2024 will officially not contain the Mount Anville site in Goatstown as an earmarked location for future Traveller accommodation.

As a subject of debate during the July county council meeting this past week, councillors voted against the motion to include it in the five year plan.

People Before Profit and The Labour Party proposed motions to include the site in the plan but it was quashed by 21 votes to 17.

The Mount Anville site had previously been selected as a place of Traveller accommodation for the past decade or so.

In a statement made to Dublin Gazette, PBP councillor Hugh Lewis strongly criticised the move.

“The decision by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael councillors to vote against the inclusion of the Mt. Anville site in the plan is a sure indication of the intent to sell these public lands to a private developer.

“The former depot is a prime location for the construction of social, affordable and Traveller specific housing and has the potential to deliver such desperately needed homes.

“Their vote to remove it from the plan is nothing more than pandering to discrimination and populism – not one of them even had the integrity to defend their position in the debate.”

During the meeting, councillor Lewis said it was “nonsensical in my view not to plan for future accommodation.”

Labour councillor Deirdre Kingston said: “it was really disappointing that Mount Anville was taken out of this (the TAP).

“Because we want to deliver Traveller accommodation on the site bit also because we want to keep it in public ownership.”

There are currently 39 Traveller families without permanent accommodation living in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, eight of whom are homeless, 18 sharing accommodation, nine on unauthorised sites and three in temporary bays provided by the council.

It’s estimated that 50 families will need new homes in the next five years.

Southside Travellers Action Group had not responded for comment by the time of publication.

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