independent

Friday 20 October 2017

Council is 'forcing me back on dole,' claims man

By David tucker

Stephen Conway with examples of his craftwork in the back garden of his parents' house.
Stephen Conway with examples of his craftwork in the back garden of his parents' house.

A Wexford man who set up a backyard cottage industry crafting driftwood into Celtic Knots after months out of work, says Wexford County Council are forcing him back on the dole.

Stephen Conway says he set up his workshop on a patch of land at the back of his parents' house in Maudlintown.

But now County Hall says the piece of land is theirs and they want it back.

Stephen said the local authority had 'come along' with a CPO for the land, which he believes 'by rights belongs to my parents' house'.

'What's it all about. For years I wanted to be my own boss and do something I love doing, so I started Celtic Knot Workds. I make all the stuff from driftwood and after months and months of hard work, I am off the dole and doing something positive,' he said.

Stephen claimed that council officials had told him that if he didn't remove his workshop, which is housed in old, container they would do it for him.

'With no where to put my workshop, they have now put me back on the dole and Celtic Knot out of business where's the sense and fairness in that?' he said.

Cllr George Lawlor, who has been trying mediating between Stephen and the council, said he had investigated the issue and believed the patch of land actually belonged to the local authority.

He said it was earmarked for future development, although there was nothing planned for it in the immediate future.

Wexford People

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