24 May 2022

More must be done to combat illegal encampments in Kildare, councillor says

More must be done to combat illegal encampments in Kildare, councillor says

Kildare County Council headquarters at Aras Chill Dara

Further measures must be considered by Kildare County Council (KCC) to prevent illegal encampments.

That’s according to Fine Gael councillor Peggy O’ Dwyer, who made the comments at the latest Kildare-Newbridge Municipal District (MD) meeting on Wednesday, April 20.

She referred to an encampment of 'around 30 caravans' near the Lidl Distribution centre just outside Newbridge, and added that while they did leave after a while, the caravans have since returned.

Cllr O’ Dwyer also said that she has been liaising with gardaí regarding the matter, and that there was a huge amount of litter left behind by those who had occupied the site.

She asked KCC: "How can we prevent these encampments from happening in the first place; (with) bollards?

Fine Gael Cllr Mark Stafford voiced his support for Cllr O’ Dwyer, adding: "I wonder if we could put in an injunction to stop these kinds of things from happening, as the enforcement orders don’t seem to work."

In addition, Cllr Tracey O’ Dwyer, also of Fine Gael, called on KCC for 'more robust protection' of sites from illegal encampments.

Replying to the motion, KCC said in its report: "Where the encampment is situated on council owned lands, enforcement notices are served on occupants. 

"Legal follow-up is progressed where appropriate; assistance from the Council’s Housing Support Teams (including Social Workers) is provided.

"Where such incidents occur on privately owned lands, it is a matter for the landowner."

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