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No more, no less, for Travellers

Sir -- I have just read Emer O'Kelly's article on Travellers (Sunday Independent, February 13, 2011). It is a noble piece with plenty of fine words. Personally, I feel she is in cloud cuckoo land. For as long as I remember, we have regarded Travellers as a separate entity and thrown money at them willy-nilly.

So much so that they have become dependent on that money and all you will hear is 'I want, I want' and 'I'm entitled to it' -- never 'what can I give back to the community?'. In fact, I would say that we did them a disservice. Yes, by all means integrate them, but by giving them only what everybody else in the country is entitled to -- no more, no less. I have no problem with people living in caravans or even trees, but I don't see why I or my children should have to pay for them indefinitely. Finally, after reading her last sentence, "personally speaking, I'm all for integration and that includes the Travellers", I would like to ask Emer a question which requires a simple 'yes' or 'no'. I don't know where you live, Emer, but would you accept for the sake of integration a halting site next door to your house?

Aidan Hampson,

Artane, Dublin 5

Sunday Independent