DAMAGE to buildings and equipment and dumping at Ellis’s Yard in recent months cost Cork City Council in excess of €9,500.
The local authority spent €2,002 replacing damaged lighting at the Ballyvolane site following an attack in May.
A further €5,535 was needed to replace a security hut that was burned down by vandals and €762.50 to repair a bathroom facility which was maliciously damaged.
Over half a million euro has been pumped into the yard, located alongside the Spring Lane halting site, in the last decade by City Hall.
Ellis’s Yard was cleaned up by Cork City Council contractors in February at a cost of €53,000, security fencing was erected and CCTV mounted.
Since then several dumping incidents have been reported in the immediate area around Ellis’s Yard. It is feared the illegal waste operators have moved to areas where there is no surveillance.
A caravan also had to be removed from the site just days after the clear out, costing €1,248.50.
Director of housing Brian Geaney said: “From the Council’s records, the costs incurred for environmental interventions and works including cleaning, provision of security services and boundary fencing at Ellis’s Yard for the near twelve-year period stretching from 2008 to date are €534,112.48.
"In addition to these costs outlined above, the Council incurred the following series of one-off costs relating to necessary works at Ellis’s Yard.”
Mr Geaney added these were “substantial costs”.
He said that since boundary fencing was erected on the site, the are has been kept "reasonably clean" and stated that plans for the site are due to be released under the Traveller Accommodation Programme.
Security staff overseeing Ellis’s Yard were threatened by an armed masked gang in May leading to intervention by the Gardaí and the Emergency Response Unit (ERU).
In July, a firefighter was injured attending the scene of a fire on the road leading to the site City Hall proposals to build houses for Travellers on the Ellis’s Yard site have been met with strong objections.
The council published a draft Traveller Accommodation Programme for 2019-2024 this summer.
In the document, the city announced plans to submit a planning application for the development of houses at Ellis’s Yard, next to Spring Lane halting site.
The council’s intention is to have planning secured by December and then look for funding in January 2020 from the Department of Planning, Housing and Local Government.
Traveller groups have been outspoken about overcrowding in the adjacent Spring Lane halting site with almost 40 families living in a space designed for 10.