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Ballinrobe not suitable for volume of homeless


OTHERS AREAS NOT TAKING THEIR SHARE Fianna Fáil councillor, Damien Ryan.

Anton McNulty

BALLINROBE has become a ‘dumping ground’ for homeless people in recent months and is turning the town into a shanty town, according to a local councillor.
The number of homeless people who are being housed in a property in Ballinrobe was raised by local councillors, Damien Ryan and Michael Burke, who claimed that the services were not available in the town to cater for their needs.
The matter was raised at the special meeting of Mayo County Council to discuss the proposal to build 28 modular homes for Ukrainian refugees in Claremorris.
At the meeting, Cllr Damien Ryan expressed sympathy with the people of Claremorris saying that they are experiencing a similar situation in Ballinrobe where homeless people are being ‘dumped’ in the town.
“We have a similar problem in Ballinrobe where it is being turned into a shanty town because it has become a dumping ground for emergency provision because other areas are not taking their share,” he said.
Cllr Burke said that over the last couple of months Ballinrobe seems to have been identified as an area to house homeless people. He said the town did not have any services to cater for people who find themselves homeless and felt it was not fair that Ballinrobe found itself in this situation.

‘Very unfair’
“It is very unfair both to the people who find themselves in this situation and the people of the town that the council seems fit to place them in a town that does not provide any homeless service nor does any of the major homeless agencies provide services.
“The people of Ballinrobe have always taken pride in caring for their own and many families in the area has taken in refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. We are always happy to play our part, however the people of Ballinrobe will not stand for a situation where the council sees fit to place people in areas where there is none of the necessary support these people may need.

Plan needed
“The council is notoriously strict on telling people where they can build a house and what kind of home they can build but it seems they take a haphazard approach to homing people themselves. A one size fits all approach cannot be taken when dealing with the homeless in this county,” he said.
Cllr Burke added that no more homeless people should be placed in Ballinrobe or any other town which does not have the necessary services to assist them.
“We need to put forward a plan for each municipal district and until a plan is agreed among the elected representatives, there should be no further placements of people in Ballinrobe as the necessary services are not present. Additionally people who have already been accommodated in this unplanned manner should be accommodated where there are appropriate services to meet their needs as soon as possible,” he told the meeting.