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Adams urges progress on Traveller ethnicity

17 January, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams urged the Taoiseach to make progress on the outstanding proposal of recognising Traveller ethnicity.

Teachta Adams raised the issue of Traveller ethnicity in the Dáil today.

He said:

“This morning the ESRI produced a report ‘A Social Portrait of Travellers in Ireland’ on the many disadvantages in education, employment, housing, and health faced by the Traveller Community.

“The report highlights what we have all known for a very long time and that is that Travellers experience extreme disadvantages. For example, among those aged between 25-64 years the unemployment rate was 82 per cent for Travellers.

“Crucially, the report states that ethnic recognition, and I quote, ‘could be of considerable benefit in ensuring respect for the cultural identity of Travellers in the context of targeted services’.

“I raised the issue of Traveller ethnicity with the Taoiseach before Christmas. At that time, he reported that he had discussed this matter with the Minister of State, Teachta David Stanton. He told the Dáil that work was being done on this issue and that four Traveller representative non-governmental organisations, NGOs were to be invited in to speak to the Oireachtas committee this month.

“Today, the Taoiseach confirmed that representatives from the Traveller community have been invited to meet the Cabinet sub-committee dealing with this issue and that he expects to report back to the Dáil in the coming weeks.

“I welcome this progress but after so many years the process of change and of ensuring that the Traveller ethnicity is recognised is very slow.” 

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