Councils ‘fail to spend’ Traveller budgets

Published date14 July 2021
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
In the first council-by-council interrogation of its kind, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission finds a dearth of transparency in how councils are spending Traveller accommodation budgets, or clarity in their decision-making processes around Traveller housing.

It is a "concern", says the commission, that Dublin City Council, which has more than 200 Traveller families in homeless accommodation or unofficial sites, has not sought to build a halting site since 2013.

Galway City Council, where about 250 Traveller families need housing, dropped plans for three new halting sites between 2015 and 2018. The reasons for this "varied" at different points.

In total, 31 "equality reviews", one on each local authority, are published today. Between 2008 and 2018, of €168.8 million allocated for Traveller-specific accommodation, just two-thirds (€110.6 million) was drawn down.

Some local authorities - notably Donegal, Tipperary and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Councils - appear better in attempting to meet Travellers' housing needs. Others, notably Clare and Mayo County Councils, and Galway City Council are less engaged.

Even among the better authorities, however, there are systemic problems. None asks the...

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