Martin Collins reacts to videos mocking Travellers

On Friday 20th September we were contacted by the media in relation to videos that appeared on social media featuring members of the the firebrigade and An Garda Síochána. Martin Collins, Pavee Point Co Director gave the following response to the media and we are following up with both An Garda Síochána and firebrigade services.

I have to say that I’m absolutely appalled at the behaviour of these people, who I understand some to be staff of the fire brigade and others to be members of An Garda Síochána.

In particular, I am shocked at the behaviour of members of An Garda Síochána.

They are in positions of responsibility and hold a lot of authority and they should exercise this with discipline and dignity.

Their behaviour here only serves to reinforce the stereotype that Travellers are inherently violent.

It is quite clear from their actions and their mimicking of our accent that this is directed at the Traveller community. Therefore it’s not surprising that many Travellers have no confidence or trust in An Garda Síochána.

This behaviour only undermines the work of Pavee Point in trying to develop positive relations between the Traveller community and An Garda Síochána.

We are calling on Commissioner Drew Harris to investigate this issue and instigate disciplinary proceedings accordingly.

The same obviously applies to the staff of the fire brigade.

We are also calling on the social media companies, on whose platforms this footage was shared, to withdraw the videos immediately.