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Seanad: Business of Seanad: Motion (21 Jan 2020)

Colette Kelleher: It is hard not to be moved as I listen to all the speeches. I never expected to be here. One day in May 2016, I got an unexpected phone call from Deputy Micheál Martin. I was expecting it to be about issues with a day service in Cork or something like that. He asked me whether I was willing to allow my name to be put forward to the then Taoiseach, Deputy Enda Kenny, for nomination to...

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: I welcome members and viewers who may be watching proceedings on Oireachtas TV to this meeting of the committee. The purpose of today's meeting is to continue our deliberations on the topic of employment and how it impacts the Traveller community. This will be our second session on this subject, and we will examine the disproportionate levels of unemployment among Travellers. I welcome...

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: We can try to bring in the Deputy first with the questions. She often waits very patiently.

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: I thank Mr. Friel. That is an interesting list of towns in Donegal where no Traveller has a job and there are huge gaps in local authorities. In the health module we heard people talk about not having doctors. I call Ms Corcoran from the Galway Traveller Movement to make her presentation.

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: We have gone a good bit over time. We can read more about Galway Traveller Movement in its submission to the committee. It has truly led the way here and given us much food for thought. That is why I allowed Ms Corcoran to go over time, but I also want to hear from the other witnesses. GTM has had some really practical experience and I congratulate it on its groundbreaking work. It is...

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: I thank Ms Carpenter. I now call Ms Brigid Quilligan from the Kerry Travellers Health Community Development Project.

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: I am anxious as I want to give members a chance. Are there two things Ms Quilligan wishes to add?

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: I thank Ms Quilligan for a very comprehensive and rich submission. I am also conscious that people want to ask questions so I now call on Deputy Joan Collins. I must be strict about giving speakers five minutes each to make sure everybody comes in. If there is a particular person the Deputy wants to direct questions to, could she do so in the interests of hearing from everybody?

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: Deputy Collins had a question about the over 55s accepting all of the others.

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: It is recognition of prior learning. I call Senator Ruane.

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: We used to call it the hamster wheel of consultation.

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: There is quite a bit in there, Senator, as ever. I call Mr. Friel.

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: One of the big jobs for the committee is to bust those myths and stereotypes. That will be a big part of what the committee does in presenting its key recommendations and proposed actions.

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community: Traveller Employment: Discussion (Resumed) (17 Dec 2019)

Colette Kelleher: We need an active State.

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