Reply To: Thank god for Frank McDonald

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In general to date, most local authorities have tackled the issue of providing accommodation for Travellers by placing halting sites as far away as possible from residential areas for the settled community. Or in the case of Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown, by providing as little of it as possible.

In response to notjim’s suggestion, there’s a problem with putting Traveller accommodation above ground floor level. Travellers have a cultural tradition of living in single storey dwellings, and most will refuse to live in a two-storey house. Although I’m sure there are exceptions. A few years back South Dublin County Council built residential units for Travellers near Kimmage; here caravans were totally done away with, to my knowledge the occupants are quite happy with this arrangement. More units are now under construction off the Greenhills Road, adjacent to the M50. Perhaps ground floor apartments could be provided.

Most settled people would like to have a standard semi-d in the city centre. But that’s as unrealistic as providing caravan bays in this location. If you want to live in the city centre, there must be a compromise.

Traveller families tend to have larger numbers; this issue would require particular consideration; such as how a typical apartment design could be adjusted to cater for up to a dozen people in some cases. Maybe something similar to the layout used in apartments in college accommodation would be more appropriate.

[This message has been edited by Kostof (edited 15 May 2002).]

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