Anger as site earmarked for public and Traveller housing set to be sold

by Rebecca Ryan
Protest outside the council meeting on Monday calling for protection to key Traveller sites, in attendance were Southside Travellers Action Group, people off the housing list and People Before Profit

There is “anger” after councillors voted to proceed with the sale of “key housing sites” that were earmarked for social, affordable and Traveller accommodation.

At October’s monthly meeting of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, councillors voted to proceed with the sale of two publicly owned sites, Georges Depot in central Dun Laoghaire and Mount Anville.

Both sites were hoped to deliver a large amount of public housing and the Mount Anville site is included in the Traveller Accommodation Programme.

A motion put forward by People Before Profit councillors not to proceed with the sale of the sites was voted “down by councillors in Fine Gael and Fianna Fail who voted in favour of selling the sites to offset the monies needed to fund the capital budget.”

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Hugh Lewis (PBP) and chairperson of the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Local Traveller Accommodation Committee said he wants people to campaign against the decision.

“These councillors are an absolute disgrace, in the midst of a housing and homelessness emergency, councillors from Fine Gael and Fianna Fail think it is wise and appropriate to proceed to sell off key public land that is specifically zoned to facilitate large amounts of public housing.

“The need for social and affordable housing has never been greater, there is absolutely no necessity to sell off these sites.

“We now need to a campaign of people power to unite everyone in need of social, affordable and Traveller accommodation and force these councillors to back down and stop planning to make the housing crisis even deeper.”

Southside Travellers Action Group protested outside the council meeting to coincide with the debate.

Director of the Southside Travellers Action Group Geraldine Dunne previously told Dublin Gazette:

“Southside Travellers Action Group regards this move by the council executive to be in breach of previous commitments made concerning the site and will vehemently oppose the sale of council land.’’

“We need to immediately start the process of constructing Traveller accommodation and public and affordable housing more generally on the land the council owns. The sale of any land zoned for housing to private developers is the opposite of the policy we need.”

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