Independent Cllr, Sean O’Brien, pictured at the high wire fence which surrounds the entrance to the government’s modular homes development for Ukrainian refugees in Clonminch, on the outskirts of Tullamore..

Modular home fencing at Tullamore site branded "an insult"

What has been described as "ugly wire fencing" all around the site of the modular home development for Ukrainian refugees on the outskirts of Tullamore was branded "an insult" by a local Independent councillor.

Cllr Sean O'Brien has called for the immediate removal of the wire fencing around the site at Clonminch, and its replacement with "a tasty walled entrance" in keeping with other residential developments in the area.

The fencing was described as "completely inappropriate" and an insult both to the local residents in Clonminch and the Ukrainian refugees who will be living in the new development.

Cllr O'Brien was also highly critical this week of the lack of engagement with the local community in Clonminch about government plans to house refugees on the Clonminch site.

“We all recognise the dire situation in Ukraine and the need to assist the unfortunate people who need our help at this time, but we also see the need to have this properly planned so that the Ukrainian refugees are welcomed into the community and that consultation takes place with local residents and that their rights and views are respected," he said.

Having met with the various government departments involved with the Tullamore modular home project last February, when it was first announced that it would be proceeding, Cllr O'Brien said he had impressed on them the need for proper consultation with local residents in Clonminch.

“They did not do that, but pushed ahead with their development,” he claimed

The new modular homes are expected to be ready for occupation in August, but Cllr O'Brien has joined forces with other Independent TDs and Senators in seeking to have the project stalled until such time as proper consultation takes place with the local community.

“We need to have this project properly planned so that the Ukrainian refugees are welcomed into the community and until such time as the rights and views of the local community are respected,” he said.

Some 64 modular homes are due to the built on the Clonminch site which was offered to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Ingegration and Youth by the OPW earlier this year as a possible site for the housing of Ukrainian refugees.

The houses are part of a Government approved modular home project which will see 700 homes built and completed throughout the country by late summer. Each unit will include a kitchen-dining-living area, a bathroom, a small bedroom and a large bedroom, with each home designed to accommodate four people.

It is understood that all sites for rapid build homes around the country, including the Clonminch site, will have roads, footpaths, street lighting and community facilities, including green spaces.

The homes, which are rapid build and are manufactured off-site, will be highly energy efficient, durable units with a 60-year lifespan.

The management and maintenance of the completed housing units will be in the hands of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.