Labre Park: new plan

DUBLIN City Council has spent almost €1m on the upkeep of a Traveller halting site in Ballyfermot.

According to figures supplied to councillor Ruairi McGinley, the council has spent over €900,000 on Labre Park since 2005. The council stated late last year: "To date in 2010 we have expended over €225,000 on works in Labre Park but this figure will increase significantly when final invoices are received for demolition costs and removal of dumped material."

Dublin City Council allocates about €2m a year towards the maintenance of Traveller sites across the city. According to McGinley, the figures represent "a significant waste of council funds".

"There are a number of proposals for the site at the moment, including one to replace the units currently on site, which would cost an estimated €10m. This is not feasible and the amount being spent is too high for one area alone," he said.

"Part of the overall cost arises from a CCTV camera which was erected by the council to monitor activity and which cost €70,000 to implement, and which has now been destroyed.

"A new plan is needed for this area, before further funds are poured into constantly repairing damage by incoming and outgoing tenants. The council has successfully dealt with a number of troublesome tenants but more needs to be done in terms of the proper usage of city funds."

According to the council, the amount spent on the site has risen dramatically since 2005. In 2009, €203,000 was spent on upkeep, while €200,000 and €96,000 was spent in 2008 and 2007 respectively.

About 33 families live on the site. While most are in houses, 10 families live in caravans.