Travellers hit out at government

Members of the Traveller Community in Belfast have hit out at the government after becoming “extremely frustrated” with delays to a proposed housing scheme.

Michael Mongan (right), a spokesperson for the Traveller Community, said that he and other members of his community have been waiting for five years for the British government to live up to its promises to provide a group halting site at the Monagh Bypass in West Belfast.

“We are at our wit’s end. Settled people think that we choose to live like this on the roadside. Since 1999 we have been waiting for a group housing scheme to start and not a sod of earth has so far been turned.”

The scheme requires the Department of Education (DENI), who currently own the site, to sell the land under the direction of the NIHE, and enable a housing association to develop the site for Travellers.

“These people in suits need to know that each day they delay the scheme is a day that we remain in Third World conditions,” said Michael Mongan.

Derek Hanway, Director of Belfast Travellers Support, believes that the delay is unacceptable.

“It is disgraceful that this has gone on for five years. It is tantamount to having people homeless for five years and you can imagine the uproar that would cause. Technically the Travellers are homeless, they are not choosing to live on unserviced sites.

“There appears to be a lack of will from people to implement the scheme. If you compare this to the scheme on the Glen Road, you can see what can be achieved if the political will is there.

“Many Travellers suspect that this is part of a longer term plan to slowly strangle the scheme, to have so many delays that they just slowly move away.

“If they do not want to go ahead with the scheme they should come out and say so but they should not make false promises,” he added.

A DENI spokesperson told the Andersonstown News that “there are still ongoing discussions as to that part of the site which is required to be retained”.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?