Seanad debates

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Traveller Accommodation

12:00 pm

Photo of Peter BurkePeter Burke (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank Senator Lombard for his concern on behalf of the community in Bantry about this fire. I wish to be very clear about the line of responsibility. It is primarily with the local authority in the first instance. The local authority has advised me, on foot of the Senator's Commencement matter, about the work that has been undertaken as a result of the inspections that took place in Cork. I will refer back to the Senator regarding whether the assessment has been carried out. However, the Senator will note one of the sentences in my response was that the works Cork City Council had already carried out protected other families on the site from a worse potential outcome, but I will refer back to the Senator about the assessment.

In addition, I emphasise that local authorities must step up to the mark in delivering Traveller accommodation through their plans. The Office of the Planning Regulator is now conducting assessments of the plans to do that across the 31 local authorities because it is very urgent. They have to step up to the mark. As regards all the planning issues the Senator referred to, the local authority has primary responsibility to do that. When the local authority comes knocking on my door for the funding, I can assure it that it will be wide open.


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