‘Positive’ meeting on Ballyshannon Travellers

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

A ‘very positive’ meeting was held in Donegal Town on Tuesday regarding recurring anti-social behaviour on the part of a small number of Travellers in Ballyshannon.

A ‘very positive’ meeting was held in Donegal Town on Tuesday regarding recurring anti-social behaviour on the part of a small number of Travellers in Ballyshannon.

The meeting, which was closed to the public, was held in the Council Chamber at Donegal Town Public Services Centre, Drumlonagher. Officials from Donegal County Council housing executive, the HSE, gardaí, elected officials, the Donegal Travellers Project and a delegation of four members of the Lawne Park Residents Association all attended.

Cllr. Barry O’Neill told the Donegal Democrat: “The meeting was very positive indeed. I think that just by this meeting taking place, with everybody concerned present or represented, it’s definitely a step forward.

“This was the first time that the residents themselves were really able to express their concerns in person to all the relevant agencies and get direct feedback. That’s much better than people trying to work based on what they’ve received in a report or a letter.”

He said that a mediator was appointed and “is already doing very good work, trying to bring everyone together”.

Cllr. O’Neill commended the gardaí for “doing over and above their job and dealing so well with the incidents that have arisen”. He added: “Some of the incidents have been intolerable. It’s just small numbers making some people’s lives a misery, yet 95% of the peole who live in Lawne Park are law-abiding people who want to live in peace and get things resolved.

“I think the will is definitely there now to tackle all the problems that have continued for too long.

“The progress that was made at the meeting on Tuesday is very welcome and I feel confident about the future for all the residents.”