Dáil debates

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Topical Issue Debate

Traveller Accommodation

1:20 pm

Photo of Paudie CoffeyPaudie Coffey (Waterford, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I also remind Deputies that Louth County Council, as the housing authority, is the responsible statutory authority in law for ensuring the implementation of the Traveller accommodation programme. I assure the Deputies that I, the Department and the Government are committed to ensuring that Traveller accommodation needs will be met in a safe and sustainable way. I also have confidence that Louth County Council will work with the Traveller families and all those concerned to ensure that the short, medium and long-term solutions will be found to the issues the Deputies have raised today.

I also wish to put on record that safety has to be paramount. We need to offer reassurance that steps are being taken by my Department in the context of the review of fire safety programme in Traveller accommodation. Local authorities have been instructed to undertake site-specific appraisals and apply the appropriate fire safety measures in accordance with the approach and the recommendations of the guide to fire safety in existing Traveller accommodation. They are also required to submit an interim report on the progress of the review to the national steering group which was established to oversee the review process by the end of this week.

I want to reassure the House that my Department will continue to work with the local authorities and the national Traveller representative groups to ensure the continued provision of safe and secure accommodation for Travellers, in accordance with their choice and through the comprehensive local and national collaborative structures which are already in place.


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