It is one thing to buy a caravan but it is another to find somewhere to live in it.

Caravans on many sites throughout the country are classed by local authorities as temporary dwellings despite the fact that families live in them for many years at a time. 

In Britain, over 300,000 people live in mobile home parks. However, the figure in Ireland is not known but it is growing.

One caravan manufacturer in Santry, north Dublin builds hundreds of caravans every year, with many costing between £800 and £2,000. However, for most buyers, the trouble only begins after they have bought their caravan when they need to find somewhere to put it. Local authorities in Ireland do not provide sites, so many caravan owners use private sites. Many of these are sub-standard with inadequate facilities. 

Caravan owners often become squatters living on the side of the road with no water, sanitation, electricity, and always the fear that the council will come along and shift them.

Cathal O'Shannon meets one woman living in a caravan with her three children at the side of the Naas Road. She describes the poor living standards and the lack of any facilities on the make-shift site. She also complains about the expense of renting a space on a private site. 

In Britain, there is a Caravan Control and Site Development Act, under which the local authorities provide caravan sites. No such act exists in Ireland. 

According to caravan salesman Oliver Mullen, there is a need for a similar act in Ireland in order for his business to continue to thrive.

We hope to promote the development of sites by local bodies and also by private enterprise.

One resident at Seaview in Portmarnock, County Dublin, Patrick Stanley, paints a grim picture of this large "overcrowded" site which has just one male toilet. Patrick believes the licence makes little difference to the facilities on the site. He also highlights the fact that residents have absolutely no security of tenure and can be thrown off the site at any time. It turns out that Seaview was not in fact licenced at all. 

We're still living just like Tinkers.

Mrs Robins of Finglas, who owns the Seaview site, gave Mr Stanley a week's notice to leave the site when she discovered that he had spoken to the media about his grievances. Cathal O'Shannon gave Mrs Robins an opportunity to give her side to the story. She believes that the facilities on the site are adequate and refutes the claims made by Mr Stanley. She also comments on the council's decision to refuse her a licence, as well as the subject of security of tenure.

If they keep their sites clean and in a reasonable condition, there's no trouble.

This episode of 'Newsbeat' was broadcast on 16 November 1967. The reporter is Cathal O'Shannon. 

'Newsbeat' was a half-hour feature programme presented by Frank Hall and ran for 7 years from September 1964 to June 1971. 'Newsbeat' went out from Monday to Friday on RTÉ television and reported on current affairs and issues of local interest from around Ireland. The final programme was broadcast on the 11 June 1971.