Tipperary Travellers estate transformed by clean-up

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Tipperary Travellers estate transformed by clean-up

Cllr Martin Browne, Council Environment Enforcement Officer Anthony Wynne and resident Mary 'Doll' Reilly.

                            

Once they looked out from their homes and saw rats skipping around the piles of rubbish, and horses roaming on the road.

But now the residents of Wallers Lott in Cashel can look with pride on a well maintained green area, free of rodents and wandering horses, complete with hanging baskets and flowers.

The estate of four houses, which is home to Traveller families, has undergone a transformation over the summer months.

A clean-up spearheaded by Anthony Wynne, the County Council's Environmental Enforcement Officer and local councillor. Martin Browne, has made a huge difference to the lives of the residents.

"I used to be so 'down' driving in and out of the estate", says one of the residents, Mary "Doll" Reilly.

"But now it's such a happy place. It's safe and the children can go out and play there. It's so clean and it makes you look forward when you see the green grass".

The work that has transformed the area began with the removal of an amount of rubbish and several rats, both living and dead.

Large weeds were dug out from the green area, which was levelled and cultivated with the help of the residents, and grass set there.

The residents also helped with the planting of the flower beds, as well as the hanging baskets that have further improved the appearance of Wallers Lott.

"Only €2,000-€3,000 has been spent there but it has made a massive difference", says Cllr. Martin Browne.

"Before, the place looked like a bomb site but the investment of this relatively small amount of amount will save a lot of money in the long term.

"It shows what can be achieved by coming in, sitting down and talking to people and listening to what they want. The residents have been brilliant".

The council provided a skip and the residents are paying for the disposal of the waste, as well as managing it, while their horses are kept in a field at the rear of the estate.

"The residents are an example to everybody of what can be done by offering them a little bit of help", says Anthony Wynne.

"They now have a great sense of pride, joy and satisfaction with the estate, you can hear it in their voices.

"They bought into the clean-up and the improvements - by helping with the work, buying flowers and maintaining the area - and that's what has made it so successful".

Plans are already in place for next year, with the planting of trees, flowers and shrubs. And the local Men's Shed is contributing raised flower beds for the estate.

"We thank the council for what they've done so far and we look forward to their continued support", says Cllr. Martin Browne. 

"This is an example of what can also be done in other areas. We hope that this will encourage other bodies to come on board, including the Tidy Towns committee, as these improvements in Wallers Lott will help the town increase its overall marks".

Mary "Doll" Reilly says that the residents had a sense of being "lost" but that has all changed now.

"We wouldn't have the estate the way it is without Anthony Wynne and Martin Browne and we thank them", she says.