Thursday 12 December 2019

Roma people 'going to bed hungry' as report finds many living in 'extreme poverty' in Ireland

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Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Roma people in Ireland are "going to bed hungry" and children are malnourished due to the extreme poverty they're being forced to live in, a new report has found.

The report also found that 45pc are living in overcrowded conditions and homes without running water, electricity and gas.

Some members of the Roma community also said they are living with rats, damp and sewerage problems.

Roma In Ireland: A National Needs Assessment, was commissioned by the Department of Justice and conducted by Roma peer-researchers trained and supervised by the Traveller and Roma support organisation, Pavee Point.

The report says the Roma community are completely marginalised from State services and supports, while "over half of respondents (52 per cent) reported someone in the household has gone to bed hungry".

Information was gathered from almost 500 households as a recommendation of the Logan Report, following the controversial removal of two Roma children from their families in 2013.

Parents with children in school told how they were not entitled to receive child benefit or welfare payments as they are unable to satisfy the habitual residency condition.

Many have no income other than through begging, with some saying they do not want to send their children to school as they fear them being taken into care.

The report estimates that around 5,000 members of the Roma community are living in Ireland, with the majority based in Dublin, Louth, Kildare, Wexford, Cork, Kerry, Clare and Donegal.

It makes a series of recommendations to the Government in terms of accommodation, employment, health, education and discrimination.

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