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'Prada-clad Travellers should lose dole'

THE outspoken councillor who welcomed Muhammad Ali to Co Clare has hit out at "Prada-wearing Travellers".

Frankie Neylon also insisted that members of the Travelling community convicted of being involved in feuds should have their social welfare withdrawn.

The town councillor made the comments at a public meeting and, speaking to the Herald afterwards, said that some Travellers are "quite open" about their wealth.

Cllr Neylon (Ind) welcomed legendary boxer Ali in 2009 as mayor of Ennis.

At the monthly meeting of the town council, he backed a call from colleague Cllr Paul O'Shea that Travellers convicted of being involved in feuding should have their welfare entitlements withdrawn.


Mr Neylon, now deputy mayor of Ennis, said they should be hit in the pocket.

He said Travellers drive around in new cars and "salute you with their Prada coats on them".

However, the comments were described by Traveller group Pavee Point as "totally unhelpful" and "dangerous", warning that they only serve to legitimise exclusion.

"I don't know of any Traveller who wears Prada but the insinuation there is that the wealth talked about was got illegally. If that is their belief, evidence should be provided to the gardai," Martin Collins said.

Cllr Neylon admitted he has strong opinions about some Travellers.

"We can see it all on our TV screens every day, the wealth that they have. They are not ashamed about it. It's not something that they're hiding," he told the Herald.