Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (832)

Charlie O'Connor

Question:

949 Mr. O'Connor asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the assistance which is available to South Dublin County Council to deal with the illegal encampment at Killinarden estate in Tallaght which has caused huge concern to the local community for several weeks; if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties created in respect of traffic, litter and the loss of street lighting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1396/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

My responsibility in relation to Traveller accommodation is to ensure that there is an adequate legislative and financial framework in place within which local authorities, voluntary bodies and Travellers may provide or be assisted in the provision of accommodation for Travellers. My Department provides funding to local authorities for the provision of standard local authority accommodation in which Traveller families are accommodated as well as funding for the provision of new Traveller specific accommodation and the refurbishment, where necessary, of existing accommodation.

In relation to recent incidents of unauthorised encampments in the Killinarden area of Tallaght, I understand that the Traveller families concerned, who in some cases had left accommodation in the south Dublin area, have now been moved on and that most of the families have again been provided with accommodation.

I understand that a number of sections of South Dublin County Council were involved in dealing with the issues that arose in relation to these encampments which included litter, waste, stray dogs, traffic matters and the illegal use of electricity from the public lighting supply.

Local authorities have a range of powers available to them specifically to deal with unauthorised temporary encampments. These include powers under the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 and the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act 1948 in relation to the prohibition of temporary dwellings in certain areas. In addition, local authorities have powers to address issues resulting from such encampments such as controls under environmental, litter and waste management legislation.

It is a matter for South Dublin County Council to ensure that the area affected by the unauthorised encampment is restored to an acceptable condition. There is no specific provision in my Department's Vote for the assistance of local authorities in carrying out works arising from unauthorised temporary encampments.