Surely another way?

Surely another way?

It was just after quarter to nine last Friday morning. I spied out of the corner of my eye a Garda paddywagon parked up opposite Woodland Park on the bypass as I drove into work. It struck me at the time as a bit strange, but I paid little heed to be honest - there had been several times in recent months when Garda vehicles had been parked up in that particular area.

As it transpired, an eviction of the Travelling community based at the halting site there was about to get underway.

Ireland has a sore and extremely sensitive history concerning eviction. It goes without saying that, in the past, we have been on the receiving end all too often of an eviction notice from unscrupulous landlords or landowners. We know all too well the hardship and cruelty that comes with such upheaval - especially for children.

This is 2016 though. This is modern Ireland. This is supposed to be the First World. Surely there had to have been another way?

The publicity surrounding what occured on Friday, and which is still ongoing, does little to aid anybody in this awful situation. Ireland has not dealt with the 'Traveller question'. As a supposedly collective community on this island there is still a grim feeling of 'them and us' about the relationship.

Because of our history of plantation and colonial subjugation we yearn for property ownership more than most, and more than is healthy.

It is seen as the be all and end all for grown-up Irish people wanting to show their development into mature and contributing members of our society. It nearly ended us all in 2007-2008 with the property crash. And yet again it has risen as the beacon to which we should all aspire.

Travellers appear to have no such yearning. The ownership of bricks and mortar is secondary to their culture and their community. And this is a major part of the strained relationship. Offering such a community land to settle on rubs many people up the wrong way it appears. There's a feeling that because the rest of us have to pay - once again - increasingly absorbitant prices for our own little bit of sod that somehow it is unfair that the Travelling community are allowed a halting site for free.

The sad part of this is that we have learned nothing. Land-grabbing and the possession of land is once again on the rise. Nobody can argue that we are all allowed our own 'castle' for our families. But when a two-bedroom terraced 'castle' starts to become more expensive than a villa in Spain, we need to do something very drastic, very quickly to remind ourselves of what really matters most.

Unfortunately nothing will happen. The bust years already appear a distant memory; money has that remarkable ability of erasing pain and hardship and blocking out important lessons from history.

Friday's scenes at Woodland Park will live long in the memory though.

There may be a very valid and decent reason for removing these people from the site, but the strong-arm and very public way it has been carried out reminds us all that we are still no closer to improving this relationship.