Woodland Park Reopening Welcomed – Adams
Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has said that he welcomes the reopening to the Traveller community of the refurbished Woodland Park halting site in Dundalk.
Teachta Adams said:
“I hope that those families moving in to Woodland Park are happy there and I commend those who worked hard to ensure that the refurbishment was completed.
“The eviction of traveller families, including infants only days old, last January, took place on one of the coldest days of 2016.
“Many of the evictees had nowhere to go but the side of the road without any facilities or services. This should not have happened.
“I have liaised consistently with Louth County Council, the Department of Housing and the travelling families in the intervening period and, almost a year later, it is good to see that Woodland Park is again operational and available to the travelling community.
“During the week, I raised the issue of formal recognition by the State of Traveller Ethnicity with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
“In his response, the Taoiseach outlined a pathway to recognition of Traveller Ethnicity.
“He stated that the issue was discussed with Minister for Equality David Stanton, that the four representative NGOs working on Traveller issues will come before the Committee in January; if issues can be addressed and agreement reached that there will be all-party support for ethnicity and that he expects to report to the Dáil at the end of January.
“There is no legislative or constitutional bar on the government recognising Traveller ethnicity immediately. We now need to see progress on this issue.”