Saturday 21 January 2017

Let the Carrickmines tragedy be the spur for treating Travellers with real humanity

Published 27/10/2015 | 02:30

Fifty-five per cent of Travellers leave school before the age of 15, only 1pc of them attain a third-level qualification, while long-term
unemployment stands at 84pc
Fifty-five per cent of Travellers leave school before the age of 15, only 1pc of them attain a third-level qualification, while long-term unemployment stands at 84pc

A planning enforcement officer called to my house a few years ago to inspect my back garden. I had been reported for contravening the planning code and I would have to remove the offending construction or face legal action. The offence? My climbing roses were supported on a trellis that was two inches higher than that permitted for a rear garden boundary. I couldn't believe the local authority wasted its time and human resources on matters like that. When I put up a fence out the front, though I would have preferred a 10ft wall, I adhered to the strict regulations of 1.2 metres for fear of breaking the law.

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If 'settled' people can barely tolerate each other, how can we negotiate good neighbourliness with the Travelling community?

I say 'settled', but I've never called myself a 'settled' person, it is a label applied to differentiate those of us who prefer to live in a dwelling made of bricks and mortar and don't crave living next door to family.

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