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State should recognise ethnicity of Travellers – Adams

3 November, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today spoke on the Sinn Féin motion before the Dáil which relates to the dreadful reality of endemic racism and discrimination against Travellers.

The Louth TD said that the tragic deaths caused by the fire at Carrickmines have brought a focus to the issue of Travellers rights.

Deputy Adams said:

“After the Carrickmines tragedy, there is an urgent need for a far-reaching and fundamental reappraisal of the way in which Travellers are treated in Irish society and that this will require a momentous shift in individual and community attitudes which can only happen with political leadership at Government level

“The impetus for this motion came as we extended our sincere condolences and sympathy to the Lynch, Gilbert and Connors families on the tragic loss of their loved ones in the Carrickmines fire. We offer solidarity and support to the wider Traveller community. For too long, the State has failed in its responsibility to treat Irish Travellers as full and equal citizens.

“Travellers experience endemic racism and discrimination in Irish society. They suffer disproportionately in all the key social indicators including; employment, poverty, health, infant mortality, life expectancy, literacy, education, and accommodation.

“We ask the government and all other parties and TDs to support this motion.

“The Taoiseach should also make a statement confirming that the State recognises the ethnicity of the Travelling community. This small gesture on his part would open to door to wholesale change in the perception and acceptance of Travellers.”

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