Protest to take place outside Dáil calling for Traveller specific accommodation

The Irish Traveller Movement is calling for serviced halting sites, group housing schemes and transient sites

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Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

A demonstration is taking place outside the Dáil this afternoon calling for Traveller specific accommodation to be provided.

The protesters are calling for serviced halting sites, group housing schemes and transient sites.

They say that despite legal requirements on Traveller specific accommodation, there are unserviced sites that do not have access to electricity or proper fire precautions.

They also cite a lack of running water, toilets or showers, and say many sites do not have regular refuse collection.

Catherine Joyce, Chairperson of the Irish Traveller Movement, said, “why almost 17 years [after Traveller Accommodation Act 1998] and four National Traveller Accommodation Programmes later are Traveller men, women and children subject to a system which is not meeting their very basic needs?

"We have called for an independent National Traveller Accommodation Agency to provide real results to deliver Traveller Accommodation and that call has not been answered," she added.

The protest comes following a decision to evict residents from an unofficial halting site in Dundalk.

23 families were ordered to leave by the local authority who have health and safety concerns over the Woodland Park site.

Former residents say they have been left homeless as alternative accommodation being offered is unsuitable.

They were moved after a fire safety examination raised concerns.

Last month, Louth County Council was forced to temporarily shut its offices to the public amid protests over Traveller accommodation.