Dáil debates

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Topical Issue Debate

Traveller Accommodation

1:20 pm

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I am very disappointed with the Minister of State's answer. There is no point coming in here and reading a prepared script on an issue he knows nothing about. I asked him whether he would intervene to ensure the money which the Government has supplied is made available to refurbish the halting site up to appropriate health and safety standards.

Louth County Council is not working with the Traveller families and their representatives to ensure the provision of accommodation of their choice, as the Minister of State indicated. That is not the case. I want to remind the Minister of State that last year, the Minister of State with responsibility for equality promised that Traveller ethnicity would be a reality. The Government also promised equality and social inclusion for the Traveller community. Given it was the coldest night of the year, can the Minister of State stand over and justify the forced mass eviction of these families, comprising up to 70 people, with some of them now on the side of the road.

The way to sort this out is common sense and is cost effective, as the money is within the Minister of State's Department, and that is to have the site brought up to health and safety standards and then to work out with the Traveller people in that constituency appropriate tigíní or other accommodation in keeping with their cultural needs.


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