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County Council defend demolition of containers in Greystones

The Greystones Municipal District Office has defended the demolition of containers in Greystones.

Residents has raised funds and were in the process of converting one of the containers for a homeless man (which he had been using).

When the man returned to the container on Monday it had been demolished.

A statement from Greystones Municipal District Office said  “The Greystones Municipal District Office has been undertaking the demolition and removal of old containers and site cabins from Council-owned properties in Greystones.

These included four to the rear of the Council offices on Mill Road and three from the old Council depot on the same road.

This work was undertaken to address anti-social behaviour where people were drinking and hanging out in the cabins to the rear of the offices.  Given the unsafe condition of these units and the risk of injury to anyone illegally entering the property, the Council decided to demolish these cabins and remove the risk.  This has been ongoing for a number of weeks now.

On Monday of this week, Council employees were on the old depot site and noted that an old shipping container had been slabbed out and had what appeared to be some bedding in it.

Given that this container was in a very unstable condition, very rusted and could possibly fall down on any occupants, once the container was cleared of any contents and there was no one about, it was destroyed so as to remove any further danger to unauthorised persons.

This site has a locked gate to the access lane and it was noticed that the Council lock had been broken off and replaced with another by persons unknown.  Council locks have been replaced and the lane has been barred by closing off the top gate adjacent to Mill Road.

The site is not suitable for human habitation and there are no sanitary services available there.  Neither the Greystones Municipal District Office nor Wicklow County Council were contacted in this matter.

While the Council cannot comment on individual cases, it is understood that an individual was attempting to reside in the container.  Local media reports would indicate that this container was apparently being fitted out by volunteers to encourage this individual to live in it.

The Council would advise those at risk of homelessness, and those volunteers who wish to assist in such matters, to engage with the Council’s Homeless Outreach Officer and team.

It should be noted that night accommodation is available for homeless individuals in the Council’s Cold Weather Initiative which opened on Monday in Bray while day services are provided for homeless people by the Five Loaves, also in Bray.

The Cold Weather Initiative ran very successfully in 2017/2018. however not all homeless individuals wish to engage with Homeless Services or avail of this accommodation.  Those wishing to avail of this initiative can contact Wicklow County Council, Dublin Simon Community or the Five Loaves to be referred to the service.”

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