Council scraps plan to buy house for Traveller familySeptember 4, 2012 - 7:30am
By Bernie Ní Fhlatharta
Galway City Council has backed down on its decision to purchase a house on the Barna road for a Traveller family with a special needs child.
The family involved declined the City Council’s offer to house them in the Gleann na Coille estate on the edge of the city following growing objections to them moving in there.
Yesterday, a spokesman for the City Council confirmed that they were no longer buying the house, which cost €300,000 and would take another €50,000 to modify.
Following immense pressure from the local residents in Gleann na Coille, concerns from some of the councillors in the Galway City West Ward and then the family’s rejection of the location, the Council has pulled out of the sale.
Though negotiations had been quite advanced, contracts were not signed so the Council was in a position late last week to withdraw from the sale.
Councillor Niall McNelis, who is a local councillor and a member of the Traveller Accommodation Committee, said that in the end the decision had been for the best.
“We tried to house this family who are in tragic circumstances and obviously the Council will continue its search for suitable accommodation for them, but in the end, with the local sentiment and the family’s own reluctance to move there, the right decision has been made.
“Unfortunately there was a lot of scaremongering involved which affected the outcome and we have certainly learned a lot about communications from this case.”
Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel