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WORKS TO COMBAT difficulties outside the county’s main crematorium and Shannon’s biggest graveyard are to be completed by early September while the “ethnic status” of Travellers gives them “massive power” and weakens the ability to clamp down on illegal encampments, a local authority meeting has heard.

A new footpath and improved public carpark is to be installed in the Illaunmanagh area and include the installation of new drainage infrastructure, kerbing, a new macadam footpath, the new carparking area and a new entrance, senior executive engineer in the Shannon Municipal District, Tom Mellett stated. “These works will be completed by early September,” he confirmed.

His comments came in response to a motion by Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) who had sought an update on previous proposals “concerning the difficulties experienced by the local community in Shannon when they are visiting the Graveyard in Illaunmanagh”.

Flynn referenced how the parking area near the main entrance was caused “due to illegal encampments causing massive inconvenience”, he continued, “it is a shame that an overflow carpark was closed as a reaction to an illegal encampment”. He also highlighted how “safety issues” are persisting on the “very busy” Slí na Mara with the present sight-lines.

“People are coming from all over Ireland” to the crematorium, Cllr Flynn stated when discussing the amount of traffic and vehicles in the area. Parking etiquette was criticised by the Shannon resident who flagged that disabled spaces were parked in by those not meeting the criteria. He was hopeful the new carpark would be opened and managed properly.

Popularity of the nearby loop has seen walkers utilise the car park, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) observed when seconding the motion. “It is an issue that comes up time and time again,” she said.

Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) questioned if by laws could be enacted to oversee the management of the car park while stressing the need for it to be reopened. “Make a proper car park with marked out spaces which is managed properly by the local authority and have by laws to say these people cannot use it”.

Senior engineer Mellett said this could be examined and Flynn replied, “the by laws are possible but the people we are talking about couldn’t give a ‘tuppetedy dam’ about by laws”. Cllr Ryan then interjected, “they have ethnic status which gives them massive power”.

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