Bray People - - FRONT PAGE -

THERE was anger from the public gallery at last week’s district meet­ing when an at­tempt to sus­pend stand­ing or­ders to dis­cuss a home­less protest was un­suc­cess­ful.

Cllr Michael O’Con­nor asked for a sus­pen­sion of stand­ing or­ders to dis­cuss the mat­ter of two home­less men who con­tinue to sleep in tents out­side the of­fices of Bray Mu­nic­i­pal District.

They have been there nightly since mid-May.

‘ This is a mat­ter of some ur­gency,’ said Cllr O’Con­nor. ‘It’s been go­ing on for way too long. I tried to bring this up at Wick­low County Coun­cil and with the Hous­ing SPC. It should be dis­cussed here, it’s a Bray mat­ter.’

Cathaoir­leach Steven Matthews asked Cllr O’Con­nor if he had sought to put the item on the agenda. ‘A sus­pen­sion of stand­ing or­ders is usu­ally for an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion which has oc­curred with no time to put it on the agenda.’

Cllr O’Con­nor said that there wasn’t time after not get­ting any­where with Wick­low County Coun­cil.

‘It is a se­ri­ous is­sue and I’m not dis­agree­ing with you. The fo­rum to deal with theis is Wick­low and the Wick­low SPC.’ He said that his un­der­stand­ing is that the Di­rec­tor of Hous­ing and the Simon Com­mu­nity of­fi­cer are en­gaged in the mat­ter and it’s a cen­tralised func­tion. ‘I don’t think it’s go­ing to help the cause and don’t think it will do any good.’

‘Dis­cuss the is­sue,’ called out mem­bers of the public gallery. ‘Please. It’s in the sec­ond month now. It hasn’t been dealt with.’

‘I have no prob­lem putting items on the agenda if peo­ple put them in on time. I pre­fer sus­pen­sions be kept for ab- solute emer­gen­cies that may arise be­tween Thurs­day and Tues­day,’ said Cllr Matthews.

‘Yous have a home to go to and yous don’t care,’ called out a woman from the gallery some time later. ‘I’m go­ing back with Tommy.’

A man ap­proached the ta­ble and asked if he could have a minute to ad­dress the cham­ber.

Cllr Matthews in­formed him that while mem­bers of the public are very welcome, they are not per­mit­ted to ad­dress the cham­ber as per stand­ing or­ders. ‘Is that true?’ asked the man, and a num­ber of coun­cil­lors nod­ded to con­firm that was the case.

‘I will just make one point. There are a num­ber of houses ly­ing empty around the Bray area and if you don’t fix them, peo­ple will just en­ter them.’

The two men are for­mer res­i­dents of the shel­ter on Brighton Ter­race which has closed down.

The site where two men are sleep­ing in tents to protest against home­less­ness.

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