Adams urges action in support of Travellers
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD will this morning attend the funeral mass at Sandyford for Thomas and Sylvia Connors and their three children Jim, Christy, and baby Mary, who were killed in the Carrickmines Fire.
Gerry Adams said:
"The failure to reach a satisfactory outcome over a proposed temporary halting site at Rockville Drive for the bereaved Traveller families is deeply disappointing.
"The decision to provide the families with a site that is inadequate for their needs and which lacks basic amenities is an indictment of this and successive governments and their inaction in providing for the needs of the Traveller community.Travellers are citizens. They have rights. Those rights are being denied to them.
"On Tuesday in the Dáil I urged the Taoiseach to directly intervene in the Traveller issue and to 'establish as a matter of urgency a state-wide forum involving Travellers, political parties, Government, local authorities, health and education sectors and media organisations to make recommendations on how this major issue of inequality facing our society can be addressed.'
"The Taoiseach refused claiming that existing structures are sufficient.
"They are patently not as is evident in the statistics available on discrimination in housing and employment, health and poverty. At the root of all these problems is a deep rooted prejudice that must be tackled.
"This requires a sea change in public policy and government and local government attitudes.
"I support the call by Pavee Point for a dedicated Traveller Agency to co-ordinate and where appropriate enforce government policy affecting Travellers.
"I would also urge the government, as a first practical step toward new and effective positive policies for Travellers, to implement the recommendations of the April 2014 report on Traveller Ethnicity by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and Equality. In particular the government should formally recognise the distinct ethnicity of the Traveller community."