The behaviour of some Traveller families, “playing ducks and drakes with the law”, seems to indicate that they see Waterford as a soft touch in terms of housing provision, a senior member of the City Council maintains.

An indignant Davy Walsh spoke out at Monday night’s Council meeting, instancing a case close to his Ward One area where up to ten caravans, legally forced to shift from Port Road, simply transferred to The Pump House in Christendom, where they are currently encamped.

“I think they’re taking the mick”, he said, “or else they see us as a soft touch, given that we’ve already housed 150 Traveller families”. He was convinced that some such families were playing the system in the hope of being able to jump the housing queue.

He didn’t know where the people at Christendom came from, or who they were, but suspected they originated from parts of the country where local authorities were less generous towards them than here in Waterford.

“We’ve done our bit – and more – in terms of providing accommodation for Travellers, but as a consequence we seem to be paying a penalty”, he said, making the point that in Ballybeg and Carrickphierish Travellers were behaving in like manner.

Their modus operandi was highly suspect, he said, and he appealed to the Council to liaise with Kilkenny County Council in an effort to sort the issue, at least in Ferrybank.