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BALES OF SILAGE have put been out by a local farmer to deter illegal encampments from pitching up outside a graveyard in Sixmilebridge.

Temporary silage bales have been placed outside Ballysheen Graveyard “to stop illegal camping” on ground given to Clare County Council by a local farmer to facilitate parking, Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) outlined.

He tabled a proposal before the July meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District requesting the local authority to carry out works to alleviate local concerns.

Acting senior executive engineer, Derek Troy said that staff in the Killaloe MD recently met with representatives in Ballysheen “to discuss options for improvement of parking on the public road adjacent to the graveyard. It is expected that arrangements will be made by agreement with the landowner to remove the bales that have been in place for a number of years”. The Killaloe MD intends to undertake maintenance works and mark parking spaces, subject to available funding, he added.

O’Callaghan who is Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe MD emphasised that he was not in agreement with taking away the bales “until something long term is actually done in order to stop the issue of illegal encampments. When pressure is on in other places, that’s when encampments arrive there. Kerbing might work”.

Several bales of silage have been “forfeited” by the farmer, Cllr O’Callaghan advised the meeting. “This has come up before when the area was in the Shannon Municipal District. There was talks then of putting in kerbing. Now that it’s in our area, the issue needs to be addressed. Prevention is better than cure”.

For a farmer to have to take such measures was labelled as “crazy, outrageous and scandalous” by Cllr Joe Cooney (FG). He stated, “It is just awful that a landowner has to come and put out silage bales. That day is gone. I want to pay compliment to the farmer who put the bales out. It’s awful that it came to having to put bales out to stop illegal parking. We are all well aware of the situation and it is crazy, outrageous, and scandalous. The graveyard committee is working hard. The graveyard is part Clare County Council-owned and part privately owned. I hope we can put something in place for mourners and also those generally using area”.

Road markings on their own would not be an acceptable response, Cllr O’Callaghan insisted, “We have to be able to set this up to avoid illegal encampments”.

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