'Travellers should be recognised as an ethnic group'
Human Rights and Equality Commissioner Emily Logan has insisted there is no legal impediment stopping the Government recognising the ethnicity of the Traveller community.
Ms Reilly said recognising ethnicity would not require a referendum or any major legislation.
Speaking before the Justice and Equality Committee, she called for political leadership on the issue of recognising the culture and identity of Travellers.
"The negative impact of non-recognition on the engagement between the Traveller community and State is unnecessary," she said.
"This is a serious and ongoing concern and the Commission strongly believes that the time has come for the Irish State to finally move on the recognition of Travellers as an ethnic minority.
"The State is bound by the international consensus that self-determination forms the basis of a person identifying as belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group."
She said international bodies historically and currently recognise Travellers as an ethnic group.