Labre Park go-ahead welcomed by B’fermot Travellers Action Project

By Maurice Garvey

THE long-awaited development of Labre Park has been approved by Dublin City Council – a move welcomed by the community, local representatives, and Ballyfermot Travellers Action Project (BTAP).

Labre Park has been let down on previous promises under government funding programmes for 17 years.

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The site houses a population of 171 residents, including 42 families, 23 families of which, are living in temporary accommodation, without access to water, sanitation and electricity.

Cluid Housing Association are set to be the management agent for the redevelopment, which includes building new accommodation units, refurbishment of existing units and the provision of a community facility.

Plans under the latest Traveller Accommodation Programme (TAP) 2014-2018, will finally meet the needs of the community, according to Lorraine McMahon, BTAP Coordinator.

Mrs McMahon said: “We welcome the news, and look forward to working with Cluid and Dublin City Council. It has been approved in principle, with 100 per cent funding under the TAP. It has to go to planning permission, but we are hopeful it will move asap, and be completed by the end of the current TAP in 2018.

“It’s finally happening. Some families have been waiting 17/18 years – now their accommodation needs will be met. This has been developed in full consultation with residents.”

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People Before Profit TD Brid Smith, a long-time supporter of the proposals, hailed the decision on Friday as “great news for Ballyfermot Travellers.”

Plans will see two smaller estates constructed in the existing estate, with a mix of bays and houses, to meet “culturally appropriate accommodation.”

A fire audit carried out on Labre Park last year, found it was one of the most overcrowded Traveller sites in the state.

Mrs McMahon said: “The fire audit was a big issue, but now families will have accommodation that is safe.

“Three previous TAPs have failed to deliver commitments of providing accommodation for Labre Park, but this exciting news will mean all accommodation needs for 42 families will be met, including basic human rights.”

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