*Photograph: Joe Buckley
Scenes in Shannon over the past week have been equated with “The Wild West”.
Councillors expressed their concern with the “serious situation” that has developed within Shannon that saw the release of a firearm and two arrests in the space of four days while the setting up of an illegal encampment in Illaunmanagh was also criticised.
Disgust was the feeling relayed to Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) by local constituents. “People are talking about being intimidated and impeded from entering the graveyard. That situation looks very bad for people coming all over the country to the crematorium. The bad publicity Shannon is receiving from the gun shots, the people of Shannon don’t deserve that, the people of Shannon are law abiding people and they don’t deserve that”.
Incidents in Illaunmanagh were described as “appalling” by Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND). He acknowledged the work of An Garda Síochána and Clare County Council to attempt to tackle “absolutely disgraceful behaviour”. He stated, “Illegal encampments are something successive Governmentts have run away from”.
Shannon resembled “The Wild West” in the past week, Cllr Flynn remarked but with the difference of the activity occurring in a residential area surrounded by recreational facilities. “This is a national issue that the Government have run away from”.
Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the Shannon Municipal District, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) revealed she issued a request to the persons on the illegal encampment during the week to move. “It was a waste of time but I felt I had to approach them”. She felt “the lack of information” was not helping the situation and called for the matter to be resolved quickly.
“It is the last thing that one would want for a family who are going to a funeral to meet this situation,” Cathaoirleach of the Shannon MD, Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) said of the encampment. Cllr Michael Begley (IND) urged the local authority and Gardaí to quickly resolve the matter in what he labelled as “a disgrace”.
A large number of complaints had been received into the public counter by Shannon MD staff, senior executive engineer Tom Mellett confirmed. He has spoken with persons on the site while also liaising with the housing department and An Garda Síochána. The environment section of the local authority is also engaged in the multi-agency approach. “We are constrained in what we can say,” he admitted.
The Clare Echo has learned that the encampment has moved from Shannon to a nearby parish.