*The illegal encampment at Sixmilebridge. Photograph: Joe Buckley
An illegal encampment that has been in situ in Sixmilebridge for over seven months is causing “huge frustration” in the locality, elected representatives have stated.
Since January of this year, an illegal encampment has been based in the car park of Sixmilebridge railway station, the residents had moved on from the grounds of St Senan’s RFC in Shannon prior to this.
Speaking on Monday, Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) described the encampment as “an ongoing problem”. He said it was spreading fear within the village. “People are in fear for their children, in fear for their safety and in fear for their property,” he stated.
Less people are parking outside the railway station and utilising the facility as a result, he claimed. The Kilmurry publican stated that a screen used to purchase tickets at the railway station had been damaged in recent months.
O’Callaghan added, “There is a lot of speculation as to what is happening with the encampment, another caravan has pulled in there, people have had enough of it, there is huge frustration, people can break the law and then nothing happens. I want to see it put to bed. It is very unfair, a lot of old people living within the area, they are in living in fear and I wouldn’t blame them. I am very disappointed that it is still allowed, the longer it is left the more the rot is setting in”.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) told Monday’s sitting of the Clare Joint Policing Committee (JPC) that Chief Superintendent of the Clare Garda Division, Seán Colleran was well are of the issues. “It is not as simple as pushing them out onto the road, it has to be done legally. I am hopeful we will have a resolution this month,” he said.
Chair of the JPC, Cllr John Crowe (FG) was also optimistic of a resolution in the near future. Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) previously accused residents of the encampment of “taking the mick”.
Although he did not comment on the matter this week, Chief Supt Colleran previously confirmed five months ago that a summons had been issued in relation to the encampment, “we have engaged with Iarnród Éireann, our hands are tied as to what we can do”.