Statement on Taoiseach’s Comments on Needs of Travellers

Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre welcomes recent comments from An Taoiseach Mícheál Martin, TD acknowledging that the stock approaches to Traveller issues are not working.

The Taoiseach told the Dáil that the Government needed to comprehensively review its approach.

“We agree that a renewed impetus and vision is needed to bring about real improvements in the lives of Travellers in the areas of accommodation, health and education, “ said Martin Collins, Co Director, Pavee Point.

“The Taoiseach warned against an ‘otherness developing’ in terms of Travellers and this is something we do not want in our society.  We do not want an ‘us and them’ approach.  We are all in this together and until the diverse Traveller community experiences equal outcomes in our society – we cannot claim to have a just and fair society.

“We agree with the Taoiseach that the Government needs to listen and engage more with Traveller organisations. Travellers need to be at the decision making table and influencing outcomes.  And there needs to be high level lead out on these issues.”

The Taoiseach’s comments followed from a Dáil Question from Jennifer Carroll  McNeill, TD relating to Traveller women in prison.

“Traveller women are a particularly vulnerable group and one that has to be named in the Dáil. There has to be a response,” said Jennifer Carroll McNeill.

See Dáil debate Wed  13 July –