Suddenly they were there. Suddenly on Thursday evening 500 Irish country drivers with 100 caravan teams populated a private area in Menden. When the public order office imposed a ban on the uninvited guests, the motorhome convoy moved on to Iserlohn. Yesterday at noon the strange visit to the Sauerland had to leave his camp at Seilersee, the police in the Märkischer Kreis reported nightly damage to property, theft and tank fraud by a travelling group, which is repeatedly confronted with false prejudices from their point of view – which is sometimes called “Tinker” (tinker).
The situation in Menden
Since Thursday morning there have been 20 wagons with Irish drivers in a parking lot. After being expelled, they moved to a private property. By the evening the number of campers had risen to 500. The public order office had the square cleared by the police. “Everything was peaceful,” said police spokesman Marcel Dilling. The Irish did not stand out for their crimes. That they didn’t make the best impression was partly due to lightly dressed girls who presented themselves to passers-by and cars that were risky on the road. They left rubbish and faeces in the camp.
TINKER-GROUPS 500 Tinker are causing trouble in Menden. The illegal Irish campers rampage through the city. The police are holding the group at bay.
500 illegal campers roll from the Rhineland to Menden
An editor of this newspaper tried to get into conversation with the country drivers. Their reaction threatened him. The “Tinker” would have made it clear with words that they do not want to speak to the press.
The situation in Iserlohn
From Menden, the 100 teams moved on to a parking lot on Lake Seilersee. The city had the Irish camped there until yesterday morning. 13 o’clock the place had been cleared without major problems, police spokesman Dilling reports. But the Irish were frustrated. They discussed with employees of the Public Order Office and argued that they were Europeans and pleaded for their freedom to travel. The Irish countrymen accused the authority of racism.
Tinker cause trouble in Menden
During the night, the guests had prepared work for the police: Mostly drunken groups of country drivers went to pubs and attracted negative attention due to their aggressive behaviour. At a gas station there were tank fraud and theft, and in the city centre there was damage to property. A 20-year-old showed Hitler’s greeting in the presence of police officers. He was taken into custody. During a vehicle inspection, a country driver fled the police. The pursuit ran for two kilometers. According to the police, the 22-year-old driver was drunk. Such incidents like this would not happen if the drivers had enrolled in a course such as https://www.defensivedrivingtx.com, where they can learn all the mistakes they had made previously were wrong.
The Irish countrymen
The Travellers are a travelling people from Ireland. They have their own language called Shelta, in which they call themselves “Pavee”. According to the Irish Traveller Movement (ITM), there are 25 000 rural drivers in Ireland. Another 15,000 members of this group of Irish origin live in Great Britain, almost 10,000 in the USA. The travelling people come to North Rhine-Westphalia more often in summer to spend the Catholic holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (15 August) in the Lower Rhine place of pilgrimage, Kevelaer.
How the travellers finance their journeys and partly luxurious cars and motorhomes is unclear. According to one study, 84 percent of rural drivers are unemployed. The Travellers are considered descendants of traders who supplied farmers in Ireland with things they could not produce themselves.
The travel stations before
At the place of pilgrimage Kevelaer, the 500 Irish appeared last weekend. After being sent off, the country drivers moved on – first to Neuss, then to Düsseldorf, back to Kevelaer. From there it went via Hürth to Wipperfürth and via Menden finally to Iserlohn.
The Ministry of the Interior
“The country drivers can move freely here, like you and I,” says Wolfgang Beus, spokesman of the NRW Ministry of the Interior. The country can’t control where the travellers go next. The sovereignty lies with the municipalities – they could issue expulsions or allocate an area to the shore drivers. So far, the travellers have complied with the expulsions of the cities, according to Beus, where they then travel further is up to them. If the Irish committed crimes, they would of course be prosecuted. Even if the country drivers did not have a permanent residence in Europe, the police had ways and means. In the case of administrative offences, a “security deposit” in the amount of the fine is taken; in the case of serious criminal offences, the public prosecutor’s office can also apply for pre-trial detention.