Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Committee on Key Issues affecting the Traveller Community

Traveller Accommodation: Discussion (Resumed)

Photo of Eileen FlynnEileen Flynn (Independent)
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The trespass legislation in this country stops the Traveller community from being a nomadic people. Since 2017, Travellers have been recognised as an indigenous people of this country but we do not have the right to be able to travel. One of the recommendations from the committee is to repeal the trespass legislation. Legislation dating from 2002 that deals with trespass blocks Travellers from being travellers. When we are talking about Travellers on a European level, Travellers have more rights to be travellers outside Ireland than they do in Ireland. In Germany and France there are transient sites, such as campsites with really good facilities where Travellers can pull in. In this country, there is an attempt to turn Travellers into fake and settled people. There are so many obstacles in the context of the trespass legislation. When we are talking about Travellers having the freedom to travel, we should not forget about that legislation. It is pure State discrimination from the top down that impacts on Travellers. Obviously, the legislation does not state it will stop Travellers from travelling, but it was tailored and brought in to stop the Traveller community from being travellers.