Travellers - Kilbarry Convictions
On 9 October Waterford City Council evicted twelve Traveller families from a halting site in Kilbarry, forcing them to locate to by the side of the road with no access to water or sanitary facilities.
Kilbarry halting site is a space that contains a mix of housing and space for caravans. According to the Waterford Traveller Community Development Project (CDP), Kilbarry has suffered from overcrowding over the last twenty years, which the council has done little to alleviate.
The council claims that action was needed due to feud between families within the halting site and say that they are “assessing the housing need” of the families and hope to make progress soon.
According to the council the eviction was carried out under section 24 of the Housing Provision Act 2002, which criminalises trespass. The Waterford Council of Trade Unions opposed the Act when it was proposed, believing it would be improperly used to justify moving Travellers, and believes the Kilbarry evictions illustrate this. The families' solicitor says that the eviction was illegal on the grounds that it was carried out by private contractors and not the Gardai or council as stipulated by the Act. The council did not respond to this or other questions from Village.
The Waterford Traveller CDP says that no members of the evicted families were convicted in connection with the alleged violence.