News Irish News

Friday 23 August 2019

Accommodation fund for Travellers has been slashed by 90pc

As of 2016, only five local authorities provide transient sites. Stock image
As of 2016, only five local authorities provide transient sites. Stock image

Caroline Crawford

Funding for Traveller accommodation around the country dropped by 90pc in seven years from €40m in 2008 to just €4.3m in 2015.

However, despite the significant drop in funding for the 31 local authorities, councils underspent on their Traveller accommodation budgets by €36.5m in the same timeframe.

The figures were included in a new study by the University of Limerick, which found the under-spend was evident in the massive and consistent under-delivery of Traveller-specific accommodation.

One example was the lack of action on a 1995 Traveller Taskforce report.

It identified the need for 1,000 transient bays for the community.

However, today only 54 such bays are in existence, many of which do not function adequately. As of 2016, only five local authorities provide transient sites.

Homelessness campaigner Fr Peter McVerry said Pope Francis should be invited to a sub-standard halting site during his visit here next August.

Respect

He also insisted that the Travelling community should 'demand' that bishops be on their side in the campaign for appropriate accommodation.

The research also revealed a lack of respect by public officials and elected representatives towards Travellers.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News