Fingal County Council Protest

On November 25th, Pavee Point was one of countless organisations in attendance at the office of Fingal County Council to protest the lack of action in relation to Traveller Accommodation. The protest, organised by the Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group, highlighted the poor living conditions of some Traveller families.

Geraldine McDonnell of Dunsink Lane spoke about the stark reality of the conditions, highlighting a lack of flushing toilets and showers and no electricity. She stated that the family has been cooperative with the council and that promises made by the council had been broken on too many occasions.

Traveller activists called for the issue to be taken away from city and county councils and for an independent Traveller accommodation agency to be set up. They also called on Phil Hogan, the Minister for the Environment, to use the Housing Act to intervene where local authorities were failing to address Traveller accommodation needs.

Under the 1998 Traveller Accommodation Act, every local authority is mandated to draw up four-yearly Traveller Accommodation Programmes (TAPs).

To date none, across the 34 local authorities, has been fully delivered. Figures from the NTACC (National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee) show that while 303 Traveller families are living on unauthorised sites, a further 952 are either sharing sites or housing with other families or living long-term on transient sites.

The committee says there are thus more than 1,200 families effectively homeless, more than in 1999. There are 9,911 Traveller families in the State.

Martin Collins, Co-director of Pavee Point, stated that he was there in solidarity with “all Traveller families living in overcrowded, Third World conditions.”

You can view a video of the protest here.