Travellers still living in ‘deplorable’ conditions, says human rights body

Published date03 March 2022
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
The statement, issued by the council's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today, says "little has been done to address the structural shortcomings in the identification of the housing needs of Travellers and to ensure greater accountability in the use of the Traveller accommodation funds"

It comes as figures from the Department of Housing show just 18 new Traveller halting-site bays were provided across the State last year, with 13 local authorities neither providing new Traveller accommodation nor refurbishing any.

The data, obtained by Sinn Féin spokesman on housing Eoin Ó Broin, shows just 70 units of Traveller accommodation, including five refurbished halting-site bays, 10 refurbished group-housing units and 16 mobiles provided as pandemic emergency measures were put in place last year.

Among the 13 councils providing no new Traveller accommodation, or refurbishments in 2021 were Cork, Kerry, Sligo and Wexford counties. There is no spending recorded by any council on fire-safety or health-and-safety works.

The most recent figures, for 2019, show 529 Traveller families were living by the side of the road, usually without basic facilities such as running water.

Racism and intolerance The ECRI statement comes after a follow-up investigation on two of its priority recommendations - on Traveller accommodation, and

hate-crime and hate-speech legislation - in its 2019 monitoring report. The commission, which monitors racism and intolerance, and steps to address them, publishes country-specific reports about every five years.

In 2019, on Traveller accommodation, it noted: "Nothing has changed . . . since its last report [in 2013]. Despite the adoption of multi-annual Traveller Accommodation Programmes, the majority of local authorities have consistently failed to provide adequate and culturally appropriate accommodation for Travellers."

It was then "shocked" at the level of underspend by local authorities of Traveller accommodation budgets and "alarmed at the deplorable conditions in which Travellers were living".

While in...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT