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Convicted child sex offender has moved to alternative accommodation following protest by residents of Co. Tipperary housing estate

Convicted child sex offender has moved to alternative accommodation following protest by residents of Co. Tipperary housing estate

Cllrs Andy Moloney and Mairin McGrath and Deputy Martin Browne with residents of Woodview in Cahir speaking to gardai during the protest

The allocation of a council home in a Cahir housing estate to a convicted child sex offender was greeted with a protest by more than 150 residents and a petition last week and it's now understood the man has left Cahir and alternative accommodation has been arranged for him.

Residents of the Woodview Estate in Cahir supported by local councillors Andy Moloney and Mairin McGrath and Sinn Fein TD Martin Browne, staged the protest on the estate's green area on Tuesday, April 14.

A petition signed by the estate's residents opposing Tipperary Co. Council's decision to allocate the house to the man was also handed in to the Council's Housing Department.

The man, who is not from the Cahir area,  was  convicted of sexually assaulting a child several years ago  and was recently released from prison.

A Woodview resident told The Nationalist when residents learned of who the house was allocated to during Holy Week, they contacted the Co. Council, Gardai and local politicians by phone to highlight their concerns and unease at what they regarded as an unsuitable place of residence for the person.

The estate is a mix of privately and council owned houses and is home to a lot of young families with children.

A Cahir Garda Station spokesman said gardai attended the residents' protest last week and listened to the residents' concerns and endeavoured to allay their fears.

He said the protest was peaceful, and the residents abided by social distancing guidelines.

The Garda spokesperson  said  that the man volunteered to leave the Woodview house he was allocated. 

Gardai consulted with the County  Council about the matter and arrangements were made to provide alternative accommodation for the man.

Cllr Andy Moloney, who handed in the residents' petition to the Council, said he understood the Council's Housing Section has a difficult job and made many very good decisions but he believed this particular tenancy allocation was “inappropriate”.

He said he had raised his and his constituents' concerns with the Council's Housing Section.

Tipperary Co. Council's Director of Housing Sinead Carr said the Council's policy was not to comment publicly on cases involving individual people.   

She said the house was allocated in line with its tenancy allocation policy. She felt the Council was put in a difficult position and this was a difficult and complex matter.

She confirmed receiving a petition signed by residents of the Woodview estate but pointed out that petitions didn't influence the  Council's housing allocation and assessment process.