Travellers still marginalised, says Zappone
Minister Katherine Zappone has pointed to the marginalisation of Travellers in questioning if Ireland has really changed into a "republic of equality, justice and love".
She made the remarks at a conference at Boston College on the theme of institutional abuse.
The Children's Minister said Ireland was beginning to confront "a dark chapter in our recent history".
She spoke of the Tuam babies scandal and how women seen to have breached Church rules in the past were "effectively incarcerated by the connivance of Church, State and society".
Ms Zappone said Ireland was commonly said to have changed but questioned if it is yet the kind of republic "many of us desire".
"It is difficult to respond positively when we have the marginalisation of the Travelling community, an unrepresentative parliamentary system, poverty, child poverty and homelessness."
She said "much of the architecture of past oppression has yet to be dismantled".