Residents up in arms over special needs house planAugust 10, 2012 - 7:15am
BY BERNIE NÍ FHLATHARTA
Residents in a plush city housing estate are up in arms over Galway City Council’s proposal to house a Traveller family in their midst.
People living in Gleann na Coille on the Barna Road have employed the services of a solicitor, possibly with the view of seeking a court injunction against the local authority.
Today residents, accompanied by their solicitor, David Higgins, are meeting with city officials at City Hall to discuss the matter.
All of the five councillors in the West Ward have been invited to the meeting and have been kept informed of developments.
Basically, the Council is trying to house a family who have a child with special needs in Gleann na Coille as the house, with some modifications to the property, appears to be suitable for the purpose.
In a letter sent, in confidence, to the local councillors, Kevin Swift, the Director of Services for Housing and the Environment, explains that following concerns raised about the family, certain steps were taken to allay those fears.
The register for Anti-Social Behaviour shows nine entries involving the family – eight related to a dispute with a neighbour which was settled through mediation and the ninth related to the keeping of a dog which was subsequently removed.
Mr Swift, in his letter, writes that having considered all of the concerns expressed in relation to the proposed allocation and having examined and verified the record of the applicant family and having taken into account “the extenuating medical circumstances in which this family find themselves, I now propose to complete the purchase of 50 Gleann na Coille and complete the proposed allocation following the necessary modification of the property.”
Mr Higgins, representing the residents, stressed that “this is not a Traveller issue” and that he couldn’t elaborate any further on the matter prior to the meeting at City Hall.
He did however, say that there were six other houses on the estate being used for social housing purposes and that the residents had no objection whatsoever to those.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.