Families need to be supported in fire tragedy.

Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre extends its sympathies to the family members & the extended families of those tragically killed in the fire in Carrickmines on Saturday morning – 10th October.

‘There is a need for these families to be supported at this terrible time,’ said Ronnie Fay, Co Director, Pavee Point ‘and local Traveller organisations have been working vigilantly since early morning to support the families involved as have a range of public services. We wish to commend in particular the fire service members who put their lives on the line in trying to rescue people from the blaze’.

Pavee Point is concerned that many Traveller families throughout Ireland are being forced to live in overcrowded and dangerous situations due to the impact of the housing crisis. Travellers are often the hidden victims of the housing crisis.

The difficulties in accessing the private rented sector are exacerbated for many Travellers who continue to experience widespread discrimination and find it nigh on impossible to rent from private landlords. This is in addition to the cuts made by the government to Traveller accommodation under the guise of Austerity measures with the budget reduced from €40m in 2008 to €4m in 2013.

It would be particularly tragic if it was to emerge that overcrowding may have been a factor in the spread of the fire this morning. We call on the government to re-invest in Travellers and ameliorate the savage cuts that were imposed during Austerity.

Pavee Point and local Traveller organisations will continue to work with state services to support these families at this terrible time.