Anti-social behaviour by some Travellers in Ballyshannon has escalated to such an extent recently that matters are now “at boiling point”, a county councillor has claimed.
Cllr. Barry O’Neill told members of DCC Donegal Electoral Area Committee last Thursday: “We need the intervention of the county manager because the lives of vulnerable people – young mothers, their children, the elderly – are being jeopardised by the actions of some Traveller people. It hasn’t gone away, it’s gotten worse.”
He said one family had already “been forced to move out” of Lawne Park because of threats and intimidation and that another “vulnerable family” was on the verge of doing so.
He also said that the unauthorised halting of caravans on Station Road has to be dealt with.
“What happened two weeks ago is unacceptable. On a Saturday at 12 noon, a local businessman had his car attacked and a public representative was attacked.
“From what I’ve seen of it escalating since St Patrick’s night, it’s diabolical.”
He called for a special meeting to be held this week and asked that members of the Donegal Travellers Project be asked to take part with a view to resolving the problems.
Ballyshannon Mayor John Meehan agreed that urgent action is needed. “We’re at a crisis point with the anti-social behaviour that’s going on. There’s not a member of the council can go into a shop. I stood with a business owner when people went in to use a place for breakfast, they turned on their heels and left because of the encampment.”
Housing manager Bridie McBrearty said she would find out what dates are available and noted that an emergency meeting with the HSE on the issue is due to take place this week.