GARDAÍ have confirmed that two caravans owned by an elderly couple were burned in Dunmanway and the matter is now under investigation.
Supt Ger O’Mahony confirmed that one caravan, and all of its contents, was destroyed in a fire at Cullenagh, Dunmanway, and the other caravan, which was nearby, was badly damaged as a result of the fire that took hold between 4.30pm and 5pm on Friday, May 24th last.
Supt O’Mahony said gardaí in Dunmanway are investigating the incidents and statements are being taken.
The Irish Traveller Movement, which is based in Dublin, has established a GoFundMe campaign seeking to purchase a caravan for the elderly couple, who were not at home at the time of the fire and are now living in tented accommodation.
In addition to a new caravan, the Irish Traveller Movement said it is looking for donations of women’s clothing size 16; men’s clothing size 32; women’s shoes size seven; and men’s shoes size ten, because everything was lost in the fire.
Socks, coats, blankets and pillows, as well as a primus for cooking, pots and pans, and food are also on the list of essentials.
Before going to press, it emerged that the Irish Traveller Movement’s GoFundMe appeal had raised €3,103 of a €4,000 goal in a single day.
Bernard Joyce, director of the Irish Traveller Movement, told The Southern Star: ‘People have been very generous. The money has come from the traveller community and the wider community. It is very heart-warming to see the support they have received, and the generosity.’
He also confirmed that the West Cork Travellers Association is liaising with the couple in relation to their accommodation needs.