Coole village this morning.

Protesters blocking installation of modular homes in Westmeath village

A group of protesters are preventing modular homes being installed in a north Westmeath village.

Around 20 members of the Coole Concerns group are blocking the entrance of a site in the village in a bid to prevent the installation of 18 large modular homes. The site is located next to the Coole Court development where around around 100 International Protection applicants have been living since late last year.

A convoy of articulated trucks and cranes arrived in the village in the early hours of this morning. However, their attempts to begin offloading the modular homes have been hampered by the protesters who have been camped at the site since earlier this week.

Last week Westmeath County Council issued an enforcement notice to the owner of Coole Court, who also owns the adjacent site, after receiving a number of complaints relating to groundworks being undertaken to facilitate the installation of modular homes.

Local TDs Peter Burke and Robert Troy both say that they have received assurances from the Department of Integration and Minister Roderic O'Gorman that there are no plans to house additional IP applicants in the village and that no agreement has been made with the developer.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner this morning, a local resident who is protesting at the site said that many people in Coole don't believe the department. They are also critical of the lack of communication with the community, he said.

"No one is telling us anything. There is a complete lack of communication [from the department]."