Horse trading was 'mayhem'
ST PATRICK'S Day horse trading by members of the Travelling community in Enniscorthy is resulting in chaos and health and safety issues for local residents.
This is the view of Cllr Paddy Kavanagh who claimed in a motion that unauthorised gatherings of Travellers for the purposes of buying and selling horses are taking place on the roadside in Enniscorthy near built up residential areas.
The motion states: 'I am asking this council to state their policy on unauthorised gatherings of Travellers on public roads and public places for the purpose of selling and buying horses.'
He called on council officials to outline the local authority's policy on the matter and also sought a policy statement from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Transport on this issue.
Cllr Kavanagh described scenes of chaos in Drumgoold on St Patrick's Day when large crowds gathered.
'We had such a gathering; it's no surprise as there's usually a gathering on New Year's Day. It's hard to get a council official and guards are scarce on public holidays.'
Cllr Oisin O'Connell seconded the motion but asked that persons be used in place of Travellers.
Cllr Kavanagh said: 'If that solves the problem I've no problem with it.'
Cllr Deirdre Wadding enquired if there was an anti Traveller bias at play.
Cllr James Browne described scenes of 'absolute mayhem' in Drumgoold on St Patrick's Day.
'The roads were blocked. I was coming around the corner and I came upon the scene of a man with his hand out the van window holding onto a rope with a horse around the other side of the van. He had no control of the horse or the van. This was in a built up area with a lot of children around; it was an extremely dangerous situation.'
Cllr Keith Doyle, also an Enniscorthy native, supported the motion, prompting Chairman Cllr Malcolm Byrne to concede that it was getting a lot of support in the Enniscorthy area.
Cllr Doyle said he didn't have a problem with how the motion was phrased as it pertains to a certain section of the community.
'Cllr Browne was almost run down; it could have been a child.'
Cllr Wadding called for a representative of the Traveller community to be in attendance at the next meeting.
Cllr Kavanagh replied: 'I just want the mess cleaned up!'