Government accused of lip service as three Traveller families camped near Dublin Airport face another winter without a settlement site.
Since mid-1969, staff at Dublin Airport have been united in their aim to help three families from the Traveller community camp near the airport complex. The project is supported by workers, unions and management, all of whom are willing to do what is necessary to organise a settlement site.
The Minister for Transport and Power Brian Lenihan has offered a site suitable for three caravans close to the Dublin Airport complex. However Dublin County Council has deemed this site unsuitable for development due to drainage and sewage issues.
The government insists no other site is available. The most suitable location for the Traveller settlement site is set to be developed as part of an expansion of Dublin Airport.
The Dublin Itinerant Settlement Committee is accusing the government of lip service doubting there was any intention on settling the three families at Dublin Airport. The government talks about developing halting sites but,
When people come up with the support we cannot get the site developed.
The Dublin Itinerant Settlement Committee has contacted Dublin County Council, the Department of Transport and Power, the Department of Local Government. Three letters on the matter have been written to An Taoiseach Jack Lynch. The responses note the issue is under consideration, but a resolution is never reached.
The committee's work is stagnating and support around Dublin Airport is disappearing. Without a site that can be developed to provide Traveller families with a decent standard of living, the whole project is in danger of being abandoned.
This episode of 'Newsbeat’ was broadcast on 10 December 1970. The reporter is Michael Ryan.