Louth County Council forced to shut offices over traveller accommodation protest

Families who have been evicted from Woodland Park halting site want officials to find them alternative accommodation

Louth County Council has been forced to shut its offices to the public amid protests over traveller accommodation.

Demonstrators gathering outside the Council are unhappy at their decision to evict residents from an unofficial halting site in Dundalk.

23 families have been ordered to leave by the local authority who have health and safety concerns over the site.

Former residents say they have been left homeless as alternative accommodation being offered is unsuitable.

They were moved after a fire safety examination raised concerns.

Louth County Council is being asked to provide alternative accommodation for the families.

Of the families moved, some say they are now sleeping in cars.

They told The Irish Times that local officials also told them their women had the option of going to a refuge, while the men could stay in a hostel for the homeless.

Speaking to Pat Kenny, Kitty Holland from The Irish Times said the families rejected this out of hand.

She also said that many of the Traveller families have claimed they were told that children would be taken into foster care as part of the proposed plan, "and this was put to them quite assertively".

This mother of three from Dundalk is one of those evicted, and she says they have been living in fear: