‘There will be an all out war if the coun­cil goes ahead with this plan’ says Nora Ward

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS - By JENNY MCCUDDEN

TRAV­ELLER Nora Ward has been liv­ing at the Glen­view Halt­ing site for 15 years in what she de­scribes as cramped and sub­stan­dard con­di­tions.

The mother-of-eight ex­plains that al­to­gether 15 fam­ily mem­bers share two chalets, one of which was only added two years ago.

“For years we had just one bed­room and had to sleep on the floor in the sit­ting room and the hall and my two el­dest boys had a bed in the back of the van,” she says.

Liv­ing in such con­di­tions was far from ideal but Nora says they were hold­ing out for new homes which the coun­cil promised they would get at Glen­view.

To make mat­ters worse, next to Nora’s Chalet there are up to six un­sightly va­cant units - haz­ardous to young chil­dren as Nora says: “They are rat and badger in­fested. When mem­bers of the Ward fam­ily got coun­cil houses they left and those units are va­cant 8 years. I was al­ways ask­ing the coun­cil to ren­o­vate one for us.”

But it was only in April of this year that Sligo County Coun­cil erected a plan­ning no­tice at the site out­lin­ing its in­ten­tion to ren­o­vate the units.

“That was the first we knew of it. The coun­cil called us in a few weeks later to show us pro­posed plans for Glen­view which also in­cluded 3 houses for us, a new en­trance and a 10 foot wall across the halt­ing site,” says Nora.

At that stage the Ward fam­ily knew that the in­ten­tion of the coun­cil was to move the McGin­ley fam­ily in to Glen­view. Nora’s re­ac­tion then and to this day has not changed: “I am leav­ing here the minute the McGin­leys move in. We are go­ing back on the road­side. I am not liv­ing here with them and I will be re­fus­ing any house given to me in Glen­view park.”

Nora (43) says there is dishar­mony be­tween both fam­i­lies and on so many lev­els it is not prac­ti­cal to place them side by side.

“If it was my fam­ily liv­ing in Con­naughton road I would not like to move into an old Ward Halt­ing site when they wanted a site on the Bun­do­ran road. Why would they want di­a­monds and set­tle for stones?” asks Nora.

She re­it­er­ates: “We want what we were promised. We coped in bad con­di­tions for years. We feel let down in ev­ery way and be­trayed. I am 15 years pay­ing rent - €16.35 a week. We feel stuck in the mid­dle of an ar­gu­ment be­tween the McGin­ley fam­ily and the coun­cil.”

As for the prospect of liv­ing along­side the McGin­ley fam­ily Nora in­sists the Wards ‘will not en­ter­tain it.’

“I can’t even look at them in the town. To put two fam­i­lies who do not get on be­side each other like that is mad­ness. A wall will make no dif­fer­ence. You can climb over a wall. Why not give them a place on the Bun­do­ran road. They are en­ti­tled to it.”

Nora has no in­ter­est in me­di­a­tion as men­tioned by Coun­cil CEO Ciaran Hayes.

Nora Ward with her daugh­ter Nora

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