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Concrete barriers erected in Illaunmanagh in response to an illegal encampment are to be re-examined.

Residents, community groups and elected representatives voiced their concerns with what was coined as “absolutely disgraceful behaviour” in Shannon in recent weeks as the release of a firearm led to the arrests of two men while the setting up of an illegal encampment in the vicinity of Shannon Crematorium, the Shannon Loop, St Senan’s RFC and Illaunmanagh was not warmly received.

Barriers were installed at the car park on Friday by Clare County Council. In a statement, the local authority confirmed it had completed work at the site beside the burial ground. “We are proactively considering long-term solutions to develop the site and will keep the matter under review”.

Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) noted that the removal of the encampment received a broad welcome but that the positioning of the barriers have impeded access to the cemetery. He stated, “These concrete barriers are completely unsightly but unfortunately are necessary to ensure that an illegal encampment doesn’t return to this spot.

“They are robust and heavy and can’t be moved easily and will deter people from parking up caravans along the footpaths near the cemetery and crematorium, which was a real worry for people visiting the crematorium or burial grounds at a vulnerable time – I was contacted by a huge number of people about this,” Crowe added.

Council officials have informed Deputy Crowe the barriers will be repositioned to improve access. “The council will now have to look at a more permanent solution that is more fitting to the locality and visually pleasing”.

Deputy Crowe confirmed he is contact with An Garda Síochána and the County Council regarding an illegal encampment at Sixmilebridge railway station. “At any time of the year, roadside encampments are illegal but they’re particularly wrong and inappropriate now at a time of an international health crisis, when everybody is only entitled to move within 5km of home and I’m hoping all authorities, as they did in the Shannon situation, will work to expedite a move of this encampment too.”

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