Travellers fully vacate Woodland Park but many relocate to Dundalk Retail Park

Travellers fully vacate Woodland Park but many relocate to Dundalk Retail Park

All of the remaining Traveller families at Woodland Park have now left the halting site, it has been confirmed.

Work is now underway to close the site off to prevent people from returning there.

Despite 23 families leaving the illegal halting site since last Friday, many have moved just a few hundred metres away to a disused piece of land at Dundalk Retail Park.

It is understood several Traveller families have knocked down boarding around the land in front of the KFC drive-thru (pictured above) to take up temporary residence there.

Like the halting site they have just left, the land has no running water or toilets.

Many of the families who have departed the site are angry with Louth County Council, with one couple insisting they were “tricked” into believing they would be rehoused.

Michael Collins told The Irish Times today: “We turned up and the lady behind the desk in the estate agents did not have anything available and the auctioneer was not there.

Last night the council said it had appointed a letting agent who was “actively working with all letting agencies across Louth to identify available rental properties”.

Rebecca Quinn, a spokesperson for the families, also claims that the local authority breached an agreement reached with their solicitor in rehousing the families. A protest is now planned for outside the council offices on St Alphonsus Road at 12 noon tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State with responsibility for Housing has said Louth County Council is commencing a capital appraisal of the Woodland Park site in Dundalk with a view to potentially developing it as a permanent Traveller-specific housing project.

Speaking in the Dáil, Minister Paudie Coffey said the council had planned a number of meetings over the next couple of days with potential partners who may assist in that regard.

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