Important Traveller Voice Heard on Sustainable Development Goals

Pavee Point was delighted to attend a stakeholders forum with the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to highlight the need to include Travellers, Roma and other marginalised groups when talking about Sustainable Development Goals.

Mary Brigid Collins. Photo by Julien Behal Photography.

Mary Brigid Collins, Co-Ordinator of Pavee Point Primary Health Care Project spoke at the event.  “Travellers and Roma want to be healthy. We want to live long and happy lives.  We want to live lives where we do not die 15 years less than the general population, or experience 7 times more suicides,” she said.

“We want to make the right choices for our health -whether that is to walk, to cycle, to get public transport. Unfortunately, we can’t always do that, because we live in places that don’t have the right roads, or cycle lanes, or are polluted from being near motorways and dumps.”

National Stakeholder Forum, Leaving No One Behind, Aviva Stadium. Photo: Julien Behal Photography.

Pavee Point also highlighted some of the areas where Travellers are left out. 

For example, retrofitting and grants are largely unavailable to Traveller and Roma families due to the type of accommodation that they live in.

Energy poverty is another issue that is not being addressed for Travellers, especially thoseliving in trailers. Some Traveller families are paying €100s a week to heat their home, with no access to fuel allowance, and burning fossil fuels which is bad for the environment and their health.

“The message today,” said Mary Brigid, “Is that Travellers want to be involved. The most marginalised and poorest should have a seat at the table.”

Participants with Eamon Ryan TD , Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications at the National Stakeholder Forum, Leaving No One Behind, Aviva Stadium. Photo: Julien Behal Photography .

The messages developed as part of this meeting will be shared across national and local government. They will also be used as part of the development of Sustainable Development Goals training for civil servants and local authorities.

For more information on Ireland’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda, please see