Updated: 05/07/17 : 11:28:18
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Public Order Gardaí at Sligo Traveller illegal encampment

A situation is developing at the Connaghton Road Traveller encampment.

A 20-strong garda force, with shields, is at the scene to protect workers carrying out council directives.

The Travellers occupying the public car park are understood to have removed the height restriction barrier at the entrance.

The Travellers say the replaced barrier means it will no longer be possible to move caravans in and out of the car park.

Last month, workers from a local engineering company contracted to restore the barrier were forced to abandon the project when threatened by the Travellers.

This morning Sligo County Council, with the protection of the gardaí, have cordoned off the area to remove a tree which is causing an obstruction to a traffic sign and to replace the barrier.

A council spokesperson confirmed to Sligo Today that Sligo County Council is maintaining in contact with the McGinley family through their solicitor in relation to recent  issues at the car-park. The Council will continue to engage with the family with a view to finding a solution to their accommodation needs.

According to the council the family has turned down three suggested sites offered to them saying they were in or too close to industrial or commercial areas.

                Top Photo: Workmen and barriers arriving at Connaghton Road this morning
   Bottom:Gardai providing protection for workers replacing the vandalised height restriction barrier.

                                                                                     Photos: SligoToday.ie

                  Gardaí aqnd workers at Connaghton Road this morning.
Photo: SligoToday.ie

While the council said today's operation was required to ensure protection for staff carrying out works on its behalf, sources close to the family have described the presence of members of the Garda Armed Response Unit, who remained outside the site in their vehicle, and gardaí in riot gear as “over the top”.

With only a number of young children chanting “we have rights” no arrests were made in the two-hour operation. A Garda spokesman said gardaí were present “to prevent any breach of the peace”.

The above photos may be reproduced free of charge with credit to SligoToday.ie acknowledged.

See also: Sligo Today 28/6/2017

               Sligo Today 21/6/2017