I see the tinkers in Castletroy don’t want to move into their new accommodation. Oh? Is this because the Council didn’t build the houses to a proper standard? No. They built them to the highest possible specification.
Is it because the houses are unsuitable? No. The Travellers were consulted at every stage of the design.
Perhaps the houses are in the wrong place? No. They’re beside the halting site they always lived in.
Right. I see. So why won’t they move in?
Do you want to know? Do you really? OK then. They won’t move in until the Council builds stables for them. Stables! They want stables because this is a part of their culture, it seems. Now this is something I didn’t know. I was aware that some tinkers kept horses, but I never yet heard of a tinker having stables for his horses. They always kept them in fields, as far as I know, and paid for the grazing out of their own money, but now, apparently, they want the Council to buy land near them and give them stables at no cost. Why?
What exactly is this stuff about culture? Let’s carry on this concept to its logical conclusion. Doesn’t this mean, for instance, that all those Limerick people on the Council waiting list should be insisting on a house overlooking Thomond Park? Why not? Rugby is sure as hell a part of the ordinary Limerick person’s culture. Why shouldn’t people be entitled to at least a ten-year ticket with their Council house? Damn right!
As far as the tinkers are concerned, I’m sure they have nothing to do with the people in Castletroy who ride their horses and sulkies up on the footpath outside the school, starting fights with the kids and stealing their phones. No. That would be completely different people in Castletroy. Other people with horses and sulkies, people who live somewhere else, who come in for the day to cause trouble, and definitely not the peace-loving tinkers we’re talking about here. The Castletroy tinkers are noted for their involvement in the community. And as for those bastards who force their way into the halting site twice a week and set fire to mountains of electric cable against the wishes of the travelling community – I wonder who those fuckers might be?