100 signatures reached
To: Brendan McGrath, City Manager, Galway City Council
Stop the Cúl Trá evictions!
Stop the Cúl Trá evictions
Use his executive powers to develop proposed halting sites in Galway city
Protect the Traveller community's cultural rights
Why is this important?
Galway City Council is planning to evict 10 families from Cúl Trá halting site in Lower Salthill, Galway leaving them homeless and with no alternative culturally appropriate accommodation. This eviction would make over 42 people homeless including 22 children aged between 4 months and 10 years, some with medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis.
The families were issued a notice to vacate by June 5th and Galway City Council has said it will consider court action if the ten families do not leave the site. Galway City Council has been well aware of overcrowding on Cúl Trá site for over a decade and yet no alternative halting site accommodation has been developed.
The Cúl Trá site was built 21 years ago to accommodate 6 families. No new halting site has been built in the city since. The 10 families that were served notices to vacate are the children of the 6 original families and have spent their whole lives living on the site. The families are part of the Salthill community with children attending local schools. One resident said that the children are the “heart and soul” of the community. If families are evicted they will be forced to leave their community and live on the side of the road without basic amenities. Kathleen Ward, one of the residents said; “The site is a fire and safety issue but isn’t it a fire and safety issue to put us out on the side of the road? We have nowhere to go”.
Galway City Council has proposed 3 pieces of land for temporary halting sites to address the Traveller accommodation crisis. Areas identified for the proposed sites are Ballymoneen Road, Headford Road and Westside. However, at a public council meeting, some local councillors have objected to these proposed halting sites.
We are calling on Brendan McGrath to stop the Cúl Trá evictions and to use his executive powers to develop the proposed halting sites in Galway city.
1. Galway City Council has a legal obligation to provide culturally appropriate accommodation under the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998.
2. The need for additional halting sites to provide accommodation for the families at risk of eviction has been included in successive Traveller Accommodation Programmes however no new halting site has been built.
3. In 2016, in the wake of the Carrickmines tragedy, a fire safety audit of Traveller specific accommodation was conducted by The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management and a report was compiled with recommendations to address fire safety issues. This report recommended that measures to address fire safety should not be used to address overcrowding or other broader site management issues.